Bourbon Maple Pork Chops with Apples

I don’t mean to brag but this is the first time in nine-ish years Daylight Savings time hasn’t royally screwed my family’s sleep schedule over for days (weeks?) at a time. My sister-in-law mentioned she was getting up at 4:30am with her 1-year-old and a wave of deja vu flooded my system as I immediately felt like I needed a giant cup of coffee and maybe a nap as she was talking.

But then the realization hit that my kids were sleeping like normal human beings. Granted a couple of them have a cold right now so that might have something to do with it, but I’m not asking questions. I’m just over here in my warm cozy bed, feeling slightly smug and supremely grateful to not be awake with toddlers/babies at 4:30am anymore.

Jackson literally crouched on the floor next to my bed this morning and yelled ‘Boo’ to wake me up. Thankfully his father was right behind him with a cup of coffee to hand me as I sat straight up out of a dead sleep. That coffee probably saved his life in the moment but I’ve been chuckling about it all morning. Big kids are so funny and weird and wonderful.

Enough about sleep, let’s talk about pork chops shall we? My only experience with pork chops were the chewy and tough ones my mother made as a kid, cooked in cream of mushroom soup. Chops can be hard, especially boneless ones because they cook quickly and don’t have a ton of fat to help with moisture.

Because we buy a whole pig each year and have it butchered locally, I have cuts of meat that I wouldn’t necessarily buy at the grocery store. It’s a good exercise though and while I’ve clearly had many failures, when I have a win, I feel like I need to share it because maybe you need a new recipe too.

My pork chops were quite thick, so I cut them in half length-wise so they were about an inch thick. I made a marinade of bourbon (you could also use a light beer or chicken stock if you don’t want to cook with alcohol) soy sauce, ginger,maple syrup and Worcestershire sauce. The marinade made the chops super flavorful and tender and the apples and onions sautéed in all that pork goodness gave the dish a subtle sweet and rich finish without being heavy. I roasted some sweet potatoes and cauliflower and called it dinner. Aaron LOVED this dinner, the kids gave mixed reviews but that probably had more to do with the cauliflower than the meat.

Bourbon Maple Pork Chops with Apples and Onions

  • 4-6 boneless pork chops trimmed to 1-inch thickness
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger (about a 1-inch piece of fresh ginger)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium or 1 large Fuji apple, thinly sliced

In a bowl, whisk together the bourbon (or beer or chicken stock), olive oil, maple syrup, ginger, soy and Worcestershire sauce. Salt and pepper pork chops, then submerge them in marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and leave on the counter for up two hours or in the refrigerator for 4 to 8 hours.

In a large sauté pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium-low heat. Cook pork chops for about 3 minutes on each side so they have crisp edges and are golden brown on each side. (Don’t worry about them being cooked through yet). Remove the chops from the pan and set aside. Pour the remaining marinade into a small pot and simmer on low until it reduces by a third.

In the same pan, sauté onions and apples over medium-low heat for 5-6 minutes until the onions are translucent and the apples begin to soften. Put the chops back in the pan with the apples and onions and drizzle the pan with a couple tablespoons of the reduced marinade. Turn the heat to low and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes until the chops are cooked through. To serve, place a pork chop on a dinner plate and spoon apples and onions over it. Drizzle with the pan sauce and serve immediately.

 

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