Friday, March 25, 2011

thick cut pork chops with spiced apples and raisins

i saw tyler florence make this a few times on his food network show.  it looked really good and who doesn't love apple sauce with pork? so i tried it.  it tasted really good and it was fairly easy to make.  kelsey and my friend karen were both so impressed they each made this recipe for a different audience   kelsey was visiting a friend's family home and offered to cook dinner if they did the shopping.  needless to say this family has invited her back anytime!!! karen made it for her family on a home visit to ireland.  the irish adored it as well.   essentially the depth of flavor of this is such that you appear to be an actual chef.  the first time i made pork chops with spiced apples i found that the volume of the marinade was a bit here is the recipe with my variations.  thank you tyler!
pork chops with spiced apples and raisins served here with vegetable risotto and citrus fennel salad

recipe after the jump


Pork Chops:

  • 1/2 gallon water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup sea salt
  • 1 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 4 double-cut bone-in loin pork chops, 1 pound each (give or take)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil

Spiced Apples and Raisins:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced in 1/2-inch-thick wedges
  • Leaves from 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1/4 cup raisins ( i used golden raisins)
  • 3/4 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Pinch dry mustard
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 lemon


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl combine the water, brown sugar, sea salt, apple juice concentrate, peppercorns, and thyme. Give it a good stir to dissolve the sugar and salt. Transfer the mixture to an extra-large re-sealable plastic bag. Submerge the pork chops in the brine, seal up the bag, and put it in the refrigerator for 2 hours to tenderize the meat. Do not brine longer than that or the meat will break down too much and get mushy.

Remove the pork chops from the brine and pat them dry with paper towels. Sprinkle both sides of the meat with salt and pepper. Put a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add a 3-count drizzle of olive oil and get it hot. Lay 2 pork chops in the pan (most likely only 2 of these massive pork chops will fit comfortably) and brown 4 minutes per side. Remove the pork chops to a large baking pan; brown the remaining 2 chops and add them to the others in the pan. Put the baking pan in the oven and roast the chops for 30 minutes. The pork is done when the center is still rosy and the internal temperature reads 140 to 145 degrees F when tested with an instant-read thermometer.

While the chops cook, melt the butter in a clean skillet over medium-low heat. Add the apples and thyme and coat in the butter; cook and stir for 8 minutes to give them some color. Toss in the raisins and add the apple juice, stirring to scrape up the brown bits. Stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and dry mustard; season with salt and pepper. Squeeze in the juice from the lemon to wake up the flavor and simmer for 10 minutes or until the apples break down and soften. Spoon the spiced apples over the pork chops.

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