As with my love affair with cooked or baked apples, it is no secret that apples and pork go great together. I have seen apple stuffed pork loins, pork chops topped with apple sauce, etc. Even the baby back ribs at Chili’s come with wonderfully cinnamony apples. They are really good as a matter of fact and I don’t recall ever having a different side dish at Chili’s. So yes, they are indeed a match made in culinary heaven and one I could not resist.
I had planned on making Nigella’s Mustard Pork Chops from Nigella Express (do you see a trend here???) but I had no idea what to serve with it. I could have served mashed potatoes, sure, but that combination isn’t really daring. Besides, I had had sauteed apples on my brain all day and nothing else would do. I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to make them as I had never attempted it before so I hit the books and did a bit of research.
After reading a couple recipes, I came up a simple way to make them that isn’t at all complicated or time consuming. They were slightly sweet, buttery and soft without being mush. Simply put, they were delicious. Not to be outdone, the pork chops were very, very good too. They were wonderfully crisp outside, which is probably thanks to my cast iron skillet, and the sauce was subtle but went very well with the apples. It was a harmonious dinner that we will definitely be having again.
Mustard Pork Chops
2 pork chops, approximately 450g total
2 teaspoons garlic oil
125ml cider (that is hard cider for Americans)
1 tablespoon (15ml) grainy mustard
75ml double (heavy) cream
1. Cut the fat or rind off the chops, and then bash them briefly but brutally with a rolling pin between, two pieces of clingfilm (plastic wrap) to make them thinner.
2. Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan and cook the chops over a moderately high heat for about 5 minutes a side. Remove them to a warmed plate.
3. Pour the cider into the pan, still over the heat, to deglaze the pan. Let it bubble away for a minute or so, then add the mustard and stir in the cream.
4. Let the sauce continue cooking for a few minutes before pouring over each plated pork chop.
All I had was bone in chops so that’s what I used. She calls for garlic oil in a lot of her recipes, at least on this book, and I don’t have any so what i do is add one clove of garlic, crushed, to the oil and fry it up a bit just so the oil absorbs a bit of the taste. Make sure your cider is at room temperature (just like the chops) so it won’t be such a big shock when going into the hot pan. Whenever I have used cold liquids for something like this, I have ended up with nothing in the pan, but that is just me.
There was an article one a UK newspaper a few months ago about Nigella Lawson in her new (then) show, saying how she’s gone a bit cuckoo and whatnot. The woman may be losing her marbles but I have not made a single recipe of hers that didn’t turn out well. The burned bacon in the last one was entirely my fault!
2 eating apples like Pink Lady or Golden Delicious
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, preferably unsalted
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
Peel, core and slice the apples into 1/2 inch wedges. Put the butter and sugar in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the apples and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes or until they are golden and tender but not burned or mush. Serve immediately.
As you can see, it is a very easy meal and very quick to make. It took me 30 minutes from the moment I started the prep to the time we put the first bite into our mouths. It was a 30 Minute Meal! Move over Rachel Ray!