Last night my friend, LG, and I put on our finest garb (i.e. sensible shoes and comfy pants) and went to a concert at The Madison Square Garden.
Though we couldn’t force ourselves to wear real heels, we did slap on some lipstick and jewelry so it felt like a real night out. J.Cole performed (hey boo ;-)) and he brought out Kendrick Lamar (hey boo ;-)) and Jay-Z (hey b—- sorry Beyonce… just kidding.) It was such a fun time and a much needed friend date!!!
J.Cole’s album was definitely my album of the summer and his song “Crooked Smile” played on repeat every single morning for two months as I got ready for work. It kind of made me wish I needed braces as I developed a massive crush on J.Cole and his crooked smile.
But that has nothing to do with these delicious pork chops except that “I can’t get enough of what [they’ve] got. Good God [they] hit the spot”
Now on to the cooking… before pan frying these pork chops I brined them for 4 hours to impart a little extra flavor and a lot of extra moisture. This isn’t something that is necessary if you’re short on time but I seriously suggest brining your pork and chicken whenever you can — it really does make the meat extra juicy and delicious.
Pan sauces are delicious because they use all of the awesome flavor from the meat drippings to build a base for your sauce. They’re also great because they take 10 minutes but they taste like they took an hour. The key to this sauce is letting the onions caramelize a bit and making sure to get all the great meat bits off the bottom of the pan when you pour in the cider.
- 4 bone-in pork chops
- 3 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
- 2 cups of hard cider
- ¼ cup of cream
- 1 sprig of thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Vegetable oil
- for the brine:
- 6 cups of water
- ¼ cup of sugar
- ¼ cup of salt
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- 2 bay leaves1 tablespoon of peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon of cloves
- To make the brine, in a large bowl, pot or Tupperware container, dissolve the salt and sugar with 1 cup of very hot water. When the salt and sugar are dissolved, add the rest of the brine ingredients and the remaining 5 cups of water (the remaining water should be very cold). If the mixture is not cold, add a few handfuls of ice.
- Place the pork chops into the brine mixture and refrigerate for 4-8 hours. When you are ready to make your pork chops, remove them from the brine, pat them dry with paper towels and allow them to air-dry for 10 minutes.
- Heat oil in a large, heavy bottomed pan or skillet on medium-high heat until almost smoking. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper and place into the hot pan. Allow to cook for 5 minutes without moving. Turn the pork chops and allow to cook for 3 more minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 145 degrees. Remove pork chops from pan and cover with foil.
- Saute the onions in the same pan, using the drippings from the pork. After 5 minutes, add the apples, garlic, 1 spring of thyme, season with salt and pepper and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the cider and use a spatula to scrape any dripping from the bottom of the pan. Cook until the cider is reduced by half. Add the cream and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Serve the pork chops with the pan sauce.