25 September 2009

More Birthday Wishes! With a Side of Pork Chop

Happy Birthday to my boyfriend, Jason! Love you!!

Onto the main event: Pork Chops with Braised Cabbage and Apples in a Hot Pepper Apple Jelly and Oven Roasted Mushrooms and Brussels Sprouts. Is that a mouthful or what? This dish was divine! It was the perfect meal for a cool autumn day - and I know it is a meal that my boyfriend would have loved to eat with me. I must remember this meal and share it with him!

I had a craving for pork chops recently, and I wanted to sample some hot pepper jelly my mom canned earlier this summer. To me, pairing pork with a spicy, tart, sweet jelly seemed like a no-brainer. My mom tried a new recipe which incorporated apples with the hot peppers, sugar and vinegar to make a thick jam with flecks of red pepper. It was quite good, especially with the pork. I first pan seared the pork chops while I roasted the brussels sprouts and mushrooms in the oven. Then I removed the chops and added some sliced red onions, apples and cabbage into the pan. Then I added a bit of water, a splash of cider vinegar and a dollop of pepper jelly. Once the jelly melted into the vegetables, I added the pork chops back into the pan, covered and cooked the chops until done.

The cabbage and apples kept a little bit of crunch from not cooking too long, and the pork chop was moist and tasty in the sauce. I loved the roasted vegetables alongside the pork, but I think mashed potatoes would make an equally lovely accompaniament. If you wanted to make the sauce a little more decadent, you could stir in a couple pats of butter after taking it off the heat at the very end. It would create a richer sauce, but I thought it was very nice on its own.

Since this isn't an actual recipe - just follow your gut instinct. But here is an approximation of what I did:
Serves 2

2 Pork Chops (I used boneless here)
1/2 head of savoy cabbage, shredded
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 large apple, thinly sliced
1.5 T hot pepper jelly
~ 1/4 cup water
~ 2 T cider vinegar
~ 1 T olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

-Liberally salt both sides of pork chops (I used over 1/4 cup of salt total - use plenty cuz you will rinse most of it off) and allow to rest on the counter for about 20-30 minutes before cooking
-Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat, add oil when you are ready to cook the chop
-Rinse and dry the pork chops and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper
-Sear both sides of the pork chops for about 2 minutes/side and remove chops from pan
-Reduce the heat to medium and add the onions; cook for 3-4 minutes
-Add the apples and cabbage; cook for 3-4 minutes, then add the water and vinegar
-Scrape the bottom of the pan to get all the carmelized bits up and add the pepper jelly, stir to combine
-When the jelly has melted into the sauce, return the chops to the pan, cover and cook over medium heat until chops are done to your preference


Cate said...

Love roasted vegetables, but have never roasted mushrooms before - I've gotta change that! The dinner looks delish!

Karine said...

Roasted mushrooms? Such a great idea! thanks for sharing your recipe, it sounds delicious :)