Pan Seared Pork Chops and Apples with Cider Sauce

It’s official. Time to cozy up and lean in to all things fall. Curl up with some knitting. Pull out your sweaters. Dust off your rolling pin and start baking. But first, let’s make dinner. 

These Pan Seared Pork Chops and Apples with Cider Sauce are so easy to make you can have a fancy fall dinner at home even on a weeknight. Apples and onions roast in the oven, the pork chops get a quick sear, and before you know it, your whole house fills with the warm, inviting aroma of all those fabulous foods that say fall. A good dinner is important. It’s soul soothing. It’s satisfying. And during these trying times, it’s morale boosting. If you are going to have meat for dinner, do it like you mean it. Bone-in pork chops are juicier. Meatier. Heartier. In short, they’re just better. 

Here’s how to get a moist pork chop with a proper sear. First, start by taking your pork chops out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you plan to cook them. Set a cooling rack over a sheet pan and lay your pork chops out on the rack to prep. Next, season both sides of your chops with salt and then let them sit on the counter for 30 minutes. This gives the meat a chance to warm up, ensuring a nice crust on the outside and a tender, juicy inside.  If you have cast iron skillet, use it. You are guaranteed to get a good sear. Most importantly, use a thermometer. It’s really, truly the only way to know if your meat is actually done, not overcooked and even more importantly, not undercooked.

Sit down with a fork and a knife and wind down. Savor the moment!

Pan Seared Pork Chops and Apples with Cider Sauce

  • 3 Gala, or other crisp, sweet apples, cored and cut into 8 wedges each
  • 6 small shallots, quartered (or 1/2 onion, sliced)
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 10 sprigs thyme, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 small bone-in pork chops (about 2 1/2 lbs.)
  • 1 12-ounce bottle hard apple cider
  • 1 Tablespoon whole-grain mustard

Preheat oven to 425º F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine apples, shallots, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 4 sprigs thyme and a pinch of salt on baking sheet; lightly toss. Roast until apples are golden brown and tender, about 13 to 15 minutes. 

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork chops and season with freshly ground black pepper. Cook, searing on each side until golden brown, about 7 to 9 minutes per side. Chops are done at when an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part reads 145º F. Transfer to a plate.

Drain and discard any fat in skillet, then set over medium-high heat. Add cider, mustard and remaining 6 sprigs of thyme and let simmer vigorously until liquid is reduced to 1/3 cup, about 8 to10 minutes. Plate pork chops and serve with roasted apples and shallots, spooning pan sauce over the chops. 

– recipe by Lydia Backer 

Donna Ferguson

Donna Ferguson

I love to cook, garden, and write about all the things in Vancouver and the Northwest that make life so great.

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