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Pork Chops and Apples (no sauce)

October 25, 2011

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:

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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:

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…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…

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Perfectly moist chops, plus delicious apples!

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Served with a side of whipped pumpkin.  ‘Cause that’s how I roll.

Have a great Tuesday!

20 Comments leave one →
  1. October 25, 2011 2:55 pm

    So, I used to feel the same way about pork chops. Exact same way. And then I saw Robin Miller (food network throwback) make a pork chop that she stuffed with leeks, apples and cubed bread that was moistened with OJ and spiced up with rosemary and thyme. Life changing in the pork chop world. Pork chops + apples were just meant to be 🙂

    • October 25, 2011 3:24 pm

      Yeah, I think the key is definitely getting some “moist” items in there with the pork– apples, etc.

  2. October 25, 2011 3:00 pm

    It’s been ages since I had pork chops. Now I need to put them on my menu this week 🙂

  3. October 25, 2011 3:01 pm

    I never ever liked porkchops growing up either – even worse when coated in shake n’ bake.

  4. October 25, 2011 3:02 pm

    Pork is really a great cut of meat to cook, however there is a fine line between perfect and rubber. You did a great job! Dinner looks delicious. Love the flavor combination you put together!

  5. October 25, 2011 3:15 pm

    These look REALLY satisfying! I always find pork chops get a little chewy for me… I’m trying this technique next time!

  6. October 25, 2011 3:24 pm

    Your post title reminds me of one of my favorite episodes of The Brady Bunch (yes, I love old TV shows!).

    This looks great. Such a fall meal!

  7. Kristi permalink
    October 25, 2011 4:06 pm

    Now that the USDA has lowered the safe cooking temperature to 145 from 160, we all can enjoy a juicy serving of pork without guilt (I’m one of those noncompliant cooks who’ve been saying that for years… along with many chefs).

  8. October 25, 2011 4:26 pm

    I totally forgot Doug’s dog was named Pork Chop. And that his girlfriend was Patty Mayonnaise. I just remember his love affair for beets and of course Killer Tofu. That show had a lot of food references.

  9. October 25, 2011 5:15 pm

    OK, so I totally feel the same way about pork chops. I’ve never made them because I don’t want to eat grey rubber! I may have to give them a second go after seeing yours!

  10. October 25, 2011 6:37 pm

    I’ve actually always loved porkchops and this just another way for me to love ’em! Sounds delicious 🙂

  11. Marcee permalink
    October 25, 2011 8:53 pm

    In all our families pork was never served. I cannot remember the first time even smelling this meat. Millions of folks love “the other white meat” though.

    Reading the/your package …. “humanely raised” ….. is somewhat acceptable. Never heard of EarthFare …. will look it up. If the pig was maybe less than a year old (how this works I have zero idea) ….. the babe had one bad day. Don’t want to know too much. (Nightmares.)

    These days, for many years, I eat a bit of chicken. Turkey has been off my list because it has a bitter/gamey odor. There are thousands of things for us veggies to chow down.

    In my next life ….. definitely, I will be vegan.

    Love those apples + the sweet pumpkin whip!

  12. October 25, 2011 8:57 pm

    Look kids, Big Ben, Parliament. 😉

    Pork chops and Apple(sauce) always make me think of that episode of the Brady Bunch. I think it was Peter that kept saying it over and over? Anyway, your version sounds delicious. I never make pork chops, but I need to b/c when you get them right, they are so good…and your version looks very right.

  13. October 25, 2011 9:18 pm

    YES YES YES to pork her–I love that movie! Anytime I think of pork chops and apple sauce I think of the Brady Bunch 🙂

  14. October 25, 2011 9:43 pm

    Porkchops and applesauce = thank you peter brady, I can never have pork chops without apples or applesauce again 😉 My husband and kids love pork chops, I’m going to have to make this recipe for sure!!!

  15. October 26, 2011 2:21 pm

    Whipped pumpkin? Genius! And it’s so pretty!

  16. October 26, 2011 5:41 pm

    Pork chops have to have apples with…otherwise, I pass on’em! I agree, they’re usually dry (especially when moms make them, apparently!) 😉 Looks delicious! 🙂

  17. greensandjeans permalink
    October 27, 2011 1:56 am

    My mom always put porkchops in the slow cooker and they were AMAZING. Now you have me craving them again. As well as a Doug marathon.

  18. October 28, 2011 5:26 am

    Haha, I loved Doug growing up! Too funny!

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