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Hard cider--low in alcohol, not too sweet, and gently flavorful--works beautifully in savory dishes. Here it adds a subtle apple note and keeps the meat juicy. Serve with egg noodles or mashed sweet potatoes.Wine Pairing: An elegant, herbal red like Trefethen Family 2012 Merlot (Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley; $40). The rounded tannin structure of Merlot loves the chewy texture of pork, and the resiny cedar and mint quality of this bottle works well with the herbs in the sauce.

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Credit: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Robyn Valarik

Recipe Summary

35 mins
Serves 4


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Season chops with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large, heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. Lay chops in pan and cook until browned, turning once, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and cover loosely with foil.

  • Add sage leaves and fry until crisp, about 30 seconds. Drain on paper towels.

  • Reduce heat to medium-low and add butter, chopped sage, shallots, and 4 thyme sprigs to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are soft and lightly browned, 6 to 10 minutes.

  • Increase heat to medium-high and add cider. Cook, stirring and scraping to release browned bits, until cider is reduced by two-thirds, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, stir in cream, and boil 2 minutes to thicken sauce.

  • Return pork chops and juices to pan in a single layer, spooning some shallots and liquid over chops. Cover and cook until chops are only barely pink in center (cut to test), 4 to 5 minutes more (they will continue to cook off the heat). Remove bare thyme sprigs (most of the leaves will have fallen into the sauce).

  • Season with salt and pepper to taste and top with fried sage and remaining thyme sprigs.

Nutrition Facts

283 calories; calories from fat 49%; protein 24g; fat 15g; saturated fat 6.3g; carbohydrates 9.6g; fiber 0.2g; sodium 79mg; cholesterol 83mg.