Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Apple Pork Chops With Hard Cider

I played around in the kitchen today. The results were delicious. I combined a bunch of things that I love into one dish: pork chops, bacon(!), apples, and hard apple cider(!). The dish is not novel or genius, in fact, I'm pretty sure it's been done in many variations. But pork chops can be tricky because they dry out and lose flavor so easily. I finally mastered how to cook them!

And seriously, how can you go wrong with any dish that has both bacon AND alcohol?

So, based on my experience, here's the deal with juicy pork chops: (1) You have to buy bone-in chops. The bones are annoying to cut around and take away valuable meat space BUT that's the key to juiciness! (2) Sprinkle the chops with salt and let them warm to room temperature before you cook them. (3) If you're pan-frying the pork, make sure the pan is super hot first. (4) Don't overcook. The USDA recently lowered the required internal temperature of pork to 145 degrees. When it reaches this temp, it's done! (5) Wrap pork in bacon!

Ok, honestly, I don't know if the bacon really does anything. But it's delicious.

Apple Pork Chops With Hard Cider

2-4 bone-in pork chops (unless the chops are huge, one hungry person will probably want two chops)
8-12 bacon slices
1/2 cup sliced onions
1 apple, sliced thin
2 Tbs butter
12 oz bottle of hard apple cider (you can also use regular apple cider)
2 tsp worchestershire sauce
Salt & pepper

1. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Make sure pan is SUPER hot before you add the pork so that bacon will cook all the way.

2. Sprinkle chops with salt and pepper. Wrap each chop with 2-3 slices of bacon, depending on size of chop. Secure bacon with toothpicks.

3. Place pork chops in hot pan. Cook 4 minutes each side, until bacon is brown and pork chops reach an internal temperature of 145. Remove pork from pan and set aside.

4. Wipe out the pan and add the butter. When the butter has melted add in the onions and the apple slices and cook until the onions are dark brown and carmelized.

5. Add one bottle of hard apple cider and lower the temperature slightly. Add the worchestershire sauce. Let the hard apple cider reduce for about 3-5 minutes, then add the pork chops into the pan. Cook for a couple minutes, until the pork chops are nice and hot once again.

The hard apple cider sauce was probably my favorite part. Although the meat, wrapped in more meat, was also pretty good.

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