The first thing the pops up in our minds when we think of pork chops is fried pork chops. Frying pork chops is a very popular way of cooking this amazing cut of meat. It definitely brings out the best flavours of pork and leaves you craving for more. However, it is worth noting that frying pork chops is not the only option there. You can broil pork chops and even bake them to experience a broader range of flavour profiles with this dish. Baking and broiling pork chops is not that uncommon. In fact, baked pork chops is being increasingly preferred as it is the healthier alternative to the fried version of the dish. Besides, baking, broiling and frying, you can also braise pork chops. Braising meat is a technique that not a lot of people are familiar with. This explains why braised pork chops are not as popular as the other renditions of the meat that have been mentioned here. If you are interested in trying your hand at braising pork chops, we have got the ideal recipe for you.
The Cider-Braised Pork Chops- Why it Works
Cider-braised pork chops is a dish that you have probably never heard of. However, once you get to know how this delicious item is prepared, you will be dying to get busy cooking this dish in the kitchen for your friends and family. People who have tasted cider-braised pork chops before will tell you that they liked the dish because of its immaculate simplicity, wonderful heft, powerful flavours and soothing texture.
If you meet someone who has cooked this dish before, you’ll get to know that it takes quite a while to get the meat done. This could be a problem for you depending on how hectic your schedule is. Nowadays, people can hardly make time for some enjoyable home cooking. If you have some spare time in your hands, make sure that you try this dish out at least once. You will not regret cooking it and the extra wait time will be completely worth it.
Before the chops are cooked, they are patted dry. Once the exquisite seasoning is spread all over the meat, it is added to the heated Dutch oven where it develops a flavourful and natural crust that is going to make any food in the world salivate. The apple cider does an incredible job of uplifting the flavour of the meat. It lends a unique and sweet tartness to the braising mixture and sauce. On the other hand, the fresh thyme gives the dish a heady herbal component that balances out the sweetness of the apple cider. The jarred apple butter is another incredible addition to the dish. It packs a punch with its own set of flavours. The natural pectin present inside the jarred apple butter sauce makes the sauce look thick and glossy. In other words, it enhances the visual appeal of the dish, which is great news for people who like to eat with their eyes before eating with their mouths.
List of Ingredients
● 6 pieces of pork chops (bone-in-blade cut and 1 inch thick)
● 2 tbsp of vegetable oil
● 3 cloves of garlic (properly minced)
● 2 tbsp of all-purpose flour
● A quarter of a cup of apple butter
● Salt and pepper (as much as needed)
● 1 tsp of cider vinegar
● 1 tbsp of fresh parsley (finely chopped)
● 1 onion (neatly chopped)
The first step is to adjust the oven rack to the lower middle position. Then, get the oven pre-heated to 300 degrees. Pat the chops dry with paper towels and get them partially seasoned with pepper and salt. Use a large Dutch oven to the heat the oil at medium temperature. Keep heating till it smokes. Brown the pork chops in two batches. Cook them for about 4 minutes on either side. Move the chops over to the plate.
Save 1 tbsp of fat in the pot and cook onions in there. Get them softened and caramelized. Place the garlic, the flour and 2 tbsp of apple butter in the pot. Cook these elements till the onions are well coated and give off the perfect fragrance. Now, stir in the cider and the thyme, and bring the mixture to boil. Place the golden brown chops inside the pot. Smear the mixture over the chops. Cover the pot and transfer it to the oven. Braise the chops until they are completely tender, which means that you have to keep cooking for at least an hour and a half.
Serve the braised pork chops in a platter. Strain the sauce and skim off the fat with a shallow spoon. The vinegar, parsley and the remaining butter should be whisked in. Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper over the braised pork chops as a finishing touch.