Fargo Foodie| Pork Chops Make a Hearty Fall Meal

The time for hearty, comforting meals is here as every day grows colder and longer. Pork chops do just that and are warm, filling and flavorful: the ultimate fall dish.

This recipe uses apples to provide a sweet addition for the meaty pork chops. The juices from the apples infuse and flavor the meat, with brown sugar providing a hint of extra sweetness needed for this recipe.

Admittedly, this recipe requires a few more steps than most, but enjoying a thought out and planned meal on occasion is well worth the effort.

Don’t be intimidated by the thought of dealing with raw meat, just be sure to thoroughly clean surfaces and kitchen towels it may come in contact with and avoid cutting the meat on the same cutting board that will be used to cut the fruit or vegetables. When cooking the meat, the USDA recommends an internal temperature of 145 degrees. However, if you do not have a thermometer, simply cut into the meat. If the juices that escape run clear and the meat is opaque with a slight pink tint, it is done.

These pork chops are best accompanied with a starch as well as a vegetable; a good choice would be roasted broccoli or asparagus. Mashed potatoes, rice or even roasted squash make a great base for the chops and soak up any left behind juices.

Katherine Kessel| THE SPECTRUM
Pork chops with apples are great accompanied by roasted acorn squash.

Pork chops with apples ingredients:

2 1-inch thick pork chops

Coarse salt and black pepper

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or vegetable oil

1 tablespoon butter

1 medium sized white or yellow onion, thinly sliced

3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced

1/2 cup apple cider or chicken broth

2 tablespoons brown sugar

Directions:

Trim the pork chops to remove excess fat.

Heat a large skillet over high heat and swirl in the olive oil. Generously sprinkle the pork chops with salt and pepper, and add to the hot skillet. Allow the pork chops to sear in the pan for about 3 minutes, avoiding moving them to allow a golden crust to form.

Flip the pork chops and allow the other side to sear. Reduce the heat to about medium high and allow the pork chops to cook for about 10 minutes until nearly cooked through. Then remove the chops to a warm plate and set aside.

Melt the butter in the hot pan. Add the onion and apples and sauté until they begin to soften and the onions begin to caramelize, make sure to be stirring frequently. This should take about 8 minutes.

Add the cider or broth and the brown sugar, and return the pork chops into the pan. Arrange the apples so that they cover the pork chops. Cover the skillet and allow the pork chops to cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes.

The interior of the pork chop should reach an interior temperature of 145 degrees before being served. Remove the cover and allow the liquid to thicken. If the liquid runs out before the pork chops are cooked and the onions and apples are caramelized, add more.

Serve the pork chops topped with the apple mixture. This recipe serves two.

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