Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pork Chops and Apple Sauce — All Grown Up

I'm a fan of pork chops and applesauce. What can I say? This must be a leftover affinity from the days of my youth. I do believe that most people who—at one point or another—have had to scrimp and save have partaken in this cultural phenomenon.

It's cheap. That's true. But some people around here cringe upon first mention of this famed 'scrimp and save' dish. So the other night I was looking for a way to make my pork chops and applesauce more grown up. More sophisticated if you will. I found it.

(This recipe was adapted from this one over at

Pork Chops and Apple Sauce — All Grown Up


1 cup milk or milk alternative (I used Blue Diamond unsweetened original almond milk)
1 tsp salt
4-6 pork chops—loin or shoulder, bone or no bone, whatever your preference
freshly ground black pepper
3 TBS olive oil, split (or 1 TBS olive oil and 2 TBS butter if you wish)
1 large white onion, sliced
3 apples, cored and sliced
1 cup cider beer, white wine or chicken broth

The Preparation Method:

Begin at least three hours early by preparing a milk soak. Mix one teaspoon of salt into one cup of milk. Double if necessary to cover all the chops.

My pork chops have always been tough. Throughout my adulthood I could not make a tender pork chop to save my life. But that is changing, my friends, that is changing. Read on.

Cover the chops with the milk and salt mixture. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least two hours. This will make the meat super tender in the end.

Now that the meat is relaxing with the milk treatment, you can prep the onions and apples. Thinly slice both and set aside. (Opps, looks like I forgot to take a picture of the sliced apples. I must have gotten a little carried away taking pics of the chops. They are pretty darn good looking.)

After a minimum two hour milk bath, pull the chops out. (Clearly these chops do not reflect having spent any time at the milk baths. They were my first attempt chops, who did not get the milk treatment. They were as tough and dry as a hard wood door. My next attempt was with the chops in the above picture. They, on the other hand, were easily cut with a fork and smooth as butter.)

Anyhow, the process is the same from here on out. Sprinkle with sea salt and fresh ground pepper on both sides.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large heavy skillet, cast iron ideally. Place the chops in the pan over high heat.

Brown throughly on one side, then flip. Continue to brown on the second side. Browning the chops should take approximately 8 minutes or so.

Remove the chops to a plate standing by.

Pour the remaining 2 TBS olive oil or 2 TBS butter into the pan.

Add the sliced onions and apples. Saute until the onions begin to caramelize and the apples begin to soften.

Pour in the beer, wine or broth.

Add the chops back to the pan.

Cover all of the chops with the apple and onion mixture. Continue to cook over medium heat until the pork is tender and cooked through, about 15 more minutes. Turn halfway through.

Serve the pork chops with the apple and onion mixture over the top and rice or mashed potatoes on the side.


Craig Campbell - Family Man


  1. Oh golly, I am crying now thanks to that song. The chops look lovely too!

  2. Don't I know it. That song is so touching. Glad I'm not the only one crying along to it!


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