I know I’m going past the two week mark on ‘Apples’, but I have one more dinner and two desserts to share with you before moving on to “B”. We will still start ‘C’ the first of December (two letters per month), but I’ve decided to extend “A” two days… it’s my prerogative to adjust the rules as I please… you will be happy I did… 🙂
I will reveal what ‘B’ stands for on Saturday!
So, “Pork chops and Applesauce”…
I have always wondered where this phrase came from.
Whenever my mom would make pork chops my dad would always say this phrase in a funny voice and, though I thought it was funny, I never knew where it came from. My husband said the same thing… his parents would say it but he never knew where it came from.
Well, I solved my mystery (or at least I think I did)! The quote they were saying comes from Peter Brady on a Brady Bunch episode where he was imitating Humphrey Bogart. Am I wrong? Tell me if you think differently!
To get in the mood for making Pork chops & Applesauce… click here to watch the Brady Bunch clip!
The “apples” in this meal are mostly found in the recipe for Applesauce, but I threw in pork chops with an apple cider “sauce” to make it a meal! I only made half a recipe as the full one makes 2 1/2 quarts!
Here are the pictures for your steps:
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F
To make the half recipe you zest 1 large naval orange and 1/2 a lemon and then squeeze the juice of both into a large bowl (along with the zests).
Then you need to weigh out 1 1/2 pounds Granny Smith and 1 1/2 pounds McIntosh apples (it took 4 of each and I was slightly over 3 pounds all together). Then you peel, quarter, and core all the apples and add them to the bowl with the orange and lemon juices/zests. Give them a toss to coat the apples with the juices.
When you pick your McIntosh apples get at least one that is nice and red. When you peel this red apple reserve at least two large strips of the peel. Adding the red peels will give your applesauce a rosy hue! (I added four or five pieces of the red peel as I love the reddish color it brings to the applesauce)
Pour all the apples and zest/juice into a dutch oven. For the half recipe: add in 1/4 cup light brown sugar, 2 TBSP unsalted butter, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp allspice. Place the red peels (2-4) right on top.
NO MIXING NEEDED at this point! Yep! That’s right… you don’t need to stir to combine or anything! Just put on the lid and pop it in the oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes (for the half recipe)! Ah… I love it when you can throw things in a pot and let the oven do the work…
When the applesauce is done use a tongs to remove the red apple peels and discard them. Using a wire whisk, break up the apples and evenly distribute the melted butter, brown sugar, and spices. Give it a taste! (or two tastes!)
I used 1 inch-thick boneless, center cut pork loin chops. I sprinkled both sides of the 3 chops I used with salt and pepper. In the meantime I pre-heated my pan over medium-high heat and drizzled in some olive oil. Then I added my pork chops and cooked them for 2 minutes on each side to give them a crispy, golden brown exterior. After reducing the heat to medium I cooked the chops 5-6 minutes more (about 3 minutes or a little less on each side). Then I let them rest! When meat is done cooking it needs to redistribute its juices. It can’t do this if you cut into the meat right away. I know it’s hard to be patient… but it will pay off! I put the pork chops on a cutting board and covered them with foil to rest (about 5 minutes).
In the meantime, you can make a quick sauce for your chops. Leave the saute pan on the burner and turn up the heat to medium high/ high heat. When the pan is nice and hot, add a good splash of apple cider and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan (it will bubble up quite a bit when you add the cider… this is a good thing!). Stir this mixture for about 2 minutes to let it reduce a bit and thicken. Then add 2 TBSP butter. Wait until the butter is completely melted then pour the sauce right over the pork chops on your serving tray (time to “un-tent” those chops!) You can slice up your pork or leave it whole like I did to serve!
We served the pork chops with our homemade applesauce and a small arugula salad with toasted walnuts and bottled balsamic dressing.
Here’s the final picture:
Click here for the official Applesauce recipe!
MAKE-AHEAD: You can DEFINITELY make the applesauce ahead of time! Even a day or two would be fine! Just reheat it over low heat on the stove or take it out from the cold fridge and bring it to room temp to serve.
And, while you’re waiting for your applesauce to cook, enjoy this apple SNACK!…
Just quarter, core, and slice apples… put them in a bowl or on a paper towel and sprinkle them with cinnamon. My mother-in-law Kathy gave me this idea and it REALLY does make the apples taste like something special!