Not Your Momma's Pork Chops + Apple Sauce

Not Your Momma's Pork Chops + Apple Sauce

First, I need to apologize for the photo on this one. This is another cabin meal that I’m just now getting around to posting. See what happens when you actually have to go to work like an adult? It’s not the prettiest plate of food to photograph, I’ll admit that freely, but damn does it taste good. And when something tastes good, I share it with you, even if the photo sucks. See how this relationship works?

You could serve these chops with just about anything. Between the Dijon, maple, and sage in the pan sauce, they would compliment fall veggies like winter squash or sweet potatoes beautifully. I was trying to use some of the random things we had leftover, (and was also cooking with a stove top only—the oven doesn’t work at the cabin!) so I ended up winging it and coming up with this (if I may) freaking awesome sauté of apples, squash, Brussels sprouts, and leeks. These are not your momma’s pork chops and apple sauce, kids, but they definitely have that same sort of flavor vibe going on.

If you’re comfortable searing meat on the stove but have never made a pan sauce, mastering this very easy technique will make you feel like a restaurant chef. Try it once and you’ll never leave those brown bits of flavorful goodness in the pan again! 

Maple Dijon Pork Chops
Serves 2

2 boneless pork chops, about 1 inch-thick, trimmed of excess fat
Kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper
1 TB  plus 2 tsp Dijon mustard, divided
1 tsp salted butter
¼ cup beer, hard cider, or apple cider
2 TB pure maple syrup
2 tsp chopped sage

Season the chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Rub each chop with 1 tsp mustard (1/2 tsp per side) to evenly coat. Set aside. 

Melt butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add chops and sear 4-5 minutes per side until nicely browned. Remove to a plate. 

Add beer or cider to hot pan and scrape with a wooden spoon to deglaze. Add remaining 1 TB mustard, maple syrup, and sage to the pan, and whisk to emulsify. Reduce heat to medium, and continue to cook until alcohol smell dissipates and sauce thickens, 2-3 minutes. Pour sauce over chops and serve with your favorite sides, or this one right here. 

Fall Veggie Sauté
Serves 4 as a side

2 TB salted butter
1 very large leek, trimmed, rinsed clean of any sand or dirt, sliced
1 Delicata squash, quartered lengthwise, seeded, sliced ¼ inch-thick
1 Honeycrisp apple
48 baby Brussels sprouts (or 24 regular ones), trimmed, halved
Kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper
1 TB pure maple syrup

Melt butter in a large skillet (you’ll want one with a lid) over medium-high heat. Sauté leeks 5 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add squash, season with 1 pinch of salt and 1 pinch of pepper, and stir to combine. Cover and cook 10 minutes, stirring every so often. Add apples and Brussels sprouts, season with 1 pinch of salt and 1 pinch of pepper, and stir to combine. Cover and cook 8 minutes. Add maple syrup and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning and adjust as desired.

You can either serve this alongside the pork like we did, or you can get fancy and plate the veggies first with the pork chop on top and drizzle the sauce over everything. Of course that second idea didn’t come to me until after we had taken these hideous photos and devoured both plates. Maybe next time...

What’s your favorite way to cook pork chops?

Cheers! Alex

Butternut Squash Pizza

Butternut Squash Pizza

Garlic + Herb Crushed Potatoes

Garlic + Herb Crushed Potatoes