Pork Chops with Shallot-Apple Cider Pan Sauce


I guess in some ways, I’m your typical American consumer.  Bigger is better, right?

I rarely buy apple cider. Having a warm cup at the cider mill is a must, but actually buying it and drinking it at home is pretty rare. I’m just not much of a juice person.  But, when I decided a while back to make a cider gravy, there I was, buying apple cider. And even *knowing* that I’m not a person to just drink apple cider at home, I surmised that I HAD to get the gallon of apple cider because it was on sale, and it was therefore the same price of the half gallon. It’s just logical, right? Nevermind that the chances of me going through a gallon of apple cider are slim to none. Nevermind that I lugged that freaking gallon of apple cider home on the train/walk after work. Not getting the huge gallon would just be stupid. Duh.

Well, as you may have guessed it, I have some extra apple cider. It’s just sitting in the fridge, taking up valuable space.  Trying to get through this apple cider is like trying to get through the giant container of sour cream you bought for just one night of tacos.   Well, enter these pork chops.  I’m not a big fruit and meat person, as I’ve told you many a time. I know that people love pork chops with apples, but I am not one of them. But a sauce flavored with apples? Well, that could certainly work.

And work it did. These were flavorful, just slightly sweet, and so easy to make…even if they did only allow me to use up a mere 1/3 cup of the apple cider. And a note about the cider – you will want to use actual apple cider, the natural kind. The ingredients should basically say: apples. And that’s it. You are reducing the cider after all, so you don’t want to reduce (and therefore increase the flavor) of something that is super vinegary or preservativey (that word is patent pending, thank  you).

This makes a little extra sauce, but I like putting it over whatever carb we’re having along with the shallots (in this case, whole wheat couscous).

Pork Chops with Apple Cider Pan Sauce

Serves 2
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2 lean pork chops (you can use bone in or out)
salt & pepper
2 tsp. olive oil
2 tsp. butter
1 large shallot, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup natural apple cider
1/3 cup chicken broth

Sprinkle the pork chops with salt, pepper, thyme and sage (fresh or dried is fine) to taste.   Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and then add the pork chops. Cook until done, about 4 minutes per side depending on the size of the chop and weather it’s bone-in or out. Remove from the skillet.

Add the butter to the pan, and then the shallot. Cook until the shallot is tender and then stir in the garlic.  Once the garlic is fragrant, increase the heat slightly and add the apple cider. Scrape up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, and then allow the cider to bubble away and reduce by about half.

Add the chicken broth and salt and pepper to taste, and let that reduce until the amount of sauce you have left in the pan is about 1/3 cup total.  Spoon the sauce over the pork chops and serve.

Pork Chops with Shallot-Apple Cider Pan Sauce