Here is a hearty comforting meal to serve up during the holidays as well as the chilly winter months that follow.Thick cut pork chops, brined, rubbed with a seasoned spice blend, pan seared, briefly oven roasted to finish, and served with braised apples with coriander seeds. Served with Lima Beans with Pancetta and Sage (see here) as a side and you have a satisfying meal fit for the fiercest of winter appetites!
Recipe: Serves 6
Brine the chops for several hours, or overnight, in a solution of enough water to cover the chops mixed with salt, sugar, and dried marjoram.
Grind together some fennel seeds, flaked salt, freshly ground pepper, and chile flakes for the seasoning rub.
Prepare the apples and onions and set aside to use later.
Braised Apples with Coriander Seeds:
- 4 large crisp cooking apples; peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
- 3 medium onions peeled, quartered and thinly sliced
- 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced lengthwise
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoons freshly ground pepper
- 1 heaping tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar.
Add the olive oil and butter to a large saute pan set over medium heat. When hot add the onions and saute until the onions are wilted. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute and then add the sliced apples. Toss the ingredients until well mixed and evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper and continue to saute until the apples have softened, about 10 minutes. Add the coriander seeds and toss to combine.
Transfer the apples and onions to an oven proof baking dish that will be large enough to hold all the chops. Sprinkle with brown sugar and set aside to use later.
Seared Pork Chops:
- 6 1 ¼ inch thick pork chops (bone in or boneless)
- spice rub for seasoning the chops
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- fresh coriander sprigs as a garnish
Preheat oven to 400F/200C
Remove the chops from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Rub both sides of each chop with the seasoning rub.
Slip the apples and onions into the oven just before you begin searing the chops.
Place a large stainless or cast iron skillet on the stove over medium high heat. Once the pan is hot add the olive oil. Once the oil begins to smoke add the chops and sear for about 3 minutes. Using tongs, turn the chops over and sear for 1 minute.
Remove the apples and onions from the oven and promptly transfer the seared chops to the baking dish on top of the apples and pop them into the oven for 4 to 5 minutes.
Add a half cup of water to the searing pan. Deglaze the pan and reduce by three quarters.
Remove the chops and apples from the oven and set aside for a couple minutes to rest.
Plate the chops atop a bed of apples with pan reduction drizzled over each chop, along with a fresh coriander sprig as a garnish. As suggested, a side of Lima Beans with Pancetta and Sage (optional) rounds out this meal beautifully.