This one is simply a variation of our previous recipe for Brined Chops with a Rosemary Cream Sauce that we posted in March and was in the Cazenovia Republican paper.
So if you’ve done that one the only change is the sauce now you use Apple Cider and cream, could also be done with some Hard Cider but why not drink the hard cider as you are cooking this with plain cider!
Apples and Pork go together- accept it and embrace it like we do.
Elegant for company or any family dinner. Serves 2 but double or triples easily. One thing to remember is when cooking the chops have a large enough skillet that the chops are not crowded or use 2 skillets when making a larger recipe. Crowding can lower the heat and cause them to sweat which toughens the chop. Have enough space and adjust heat for a good constant sizzle to the pan. Oh boy can I make chops sweat and ruin them, I now pay attention! NO SWEATING ALLOWED!
Can you do this without brining? Yes you can but I find that brining increases the tenderness and juiciness of our leaner Pasture Raised Pork Chops that haven’t had junk added like other options you may find in grocery stores. It’s really worth the extra effort to brine them even in you can only get in a couple or hours.
2 Creekside Meadows Bone in Pork Chops 1 inch to 1 1/2 inch thickness
* can use boneless chops too but they cook much faster so be careful not to overcook.
For the brine:
1 3/4 cup water
2 tablespoon coarse salt
3 tablespoons maple sugar, tubinado or sucanat sugar or even brown sugar (light preferably)
For the sauce:
1 cup Local regular Apple Cider.
1/3-1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half. In a pinch you can use regular milk but sauce will be thin and not as flavorful. Can also replace with 3 tablespoons sour cream or creme fraiche. Sour Cream will add a bit of tang to the sauce, cream is just milder and allows more of the cider to come through. All are delicious and hopefully you have one or the other other on hand.
2 tablespoons butter.
Mix, water, salt and sugar, in small casserole or container or a sealable bag (don’t use metal), add chops. Refrigerate 4-8 hours. Overnight can be too long so I often add these to the brine in the morning or when I come in for lunch. Thin chops need the least amount of time and I’ve brined in just a few hours for thin ones. Thicker chops benefit for a bit longer brining. Our chops we offer from the farm are usually 1” thick.
When ready to cook, remove chops, rinse and pat dry. Allow to come to room temperature for 30 minutes. Heat skillet on medium/high, add butter and brown chops 2-3 minutes each side. Reduce heat to medium low. You want them still sizzling , if too low they will seat and dry out. Sizzle! Cover and cook until internal 145F- 160F about 6-10 minutes. Thinner chops may cook quicker so watch it and don't over cook them. It's better to put them back to cook a bit more than too much! A good thermometer is essential. I have a nifty one with a remote and love it.
Remove chops from skillet and keep warm. Pour off extra fat from pan and turn heat to medium high, add the apple cider, bring to a boil. Whisk or use wooden spoon to loosen brown bits from pan. Lower heat to simmer until reduced by half and syrupy, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and quickly whisk in the cream. try with 1/3 cup and taste, add in the rest of the cream to your taste. We like a bit more cream but farmers with their own family cow are like that!
Season with salt and pepper as needed. Pour over chops. I served with fresh apple sauce and steamed or sautéed carrots or green beans.
Thank you and I hope you can enjoy this recipe like we do. That sauce just takes the dish over the top and adds that oh yeah that’s so good factor!