Pork Chops and Apples (no sauce)
Pork chops have never been high on my list of desirable meat. Growing up, I remember pork chops as a sad, grey, rubber-tough affair (sorry, Mom). Plus, they generally remind me of two things:
1) This scene from National Lampoon’s European Vacation:
Rusty: Dad, I think he’s gonna pork her!
Clark: He’s not gonna pork her, Russ.
Rusty: I think he’s gonna!
Clark: He may pork her. Finish your breakfast.
and 2) Doug Funny’s dog:
Why would you name your dog after a cut of meat? It just seems wrong.
But, lo and behold, after years of settling into my pork chop-hating ways, I married a man who loves a good pork chop. Oh, universe! You and your irony! (I actually don’t know if that’s ironic or not…which makes it ironic that I married a man who wrote his PhD dissertation on irony, doesn’t it? Or does it? Hmmmm…)
Ryan, god love him, is a big fan of pork chops. So, now that we’re eating meat again, I decided that I owed it to him to at least give them a try, and perhaps even figure out a way to make them (gasp) taste good. My biggest beef with pork (ha), specifically the chop variety, is that they’re usually pretty dry and tough—it’s hard to keep a chop moist because you have to make sure they’re cooked all the way through (as opposed to red meat).
Some of the pork chop recipes I found online seemed unnecessarily complicated—it’s just a chop, damn it!
Then I found the one.
This recipe is so simple, it almost seems wrong. But trust me, once you bite into your chop, it will seem right. So very right.
I took one honey crisp apple:
Sliced it into thin wedges, and layered the wedges on a baking dish. Then, I topped the apples with one tbsp. of brown sugar.
Then, I rubbed our thick cut pork chops:
…with some olive oil, and seasoned both sides generously with salt and pepper. I placed the chops on the apples, covered the baking dish in foil, and baked for 40 minutes at 400 degrees. After forty minutes, I took the foil off, basted the chops with some of the liquid in the pan, and cooked, uncovered, for another five minutes.
And the result was…
Perfectly moist chops, plus delicious apples!
Served with a side of whipped pumpkin. ‘Cause that’s how I roll.
Have a great Tuesday!