Saturday, June 29, 2013

Skillet Pork Chops with Apples and Onions

Almost six years ago, I met Jeff.

I had just transferred colleges and was walking on to the cross country team. Practices started in the summer, so I had to move early and stay with a veteran athlete on the team until I could move into my dorm. The girl who hosted me during my stay was dating Jeff's roommate and on my first night in town we all went to the fair.

Standing in line for the Zipper, in the glow of the carnival lights, he told me I looked like I was twelve. He also said it was dumb that I was wearing a sweat shirt in August. Then I watched him eat a fried Twinkie and fried soda syrup. I was smitten.

A lot of my best memories have happened in the past six years. Jeff is one of the main reasons I am doing what I love in a place that I love. Because we cook together a lot, I decided to share one of our favorite recipes.

It is... not the prettiest meal. But it contains beer and pork and caramelized onions so it can afford to be a little ugly.

On a trip to Florida, Jeff and I discovered this recipe for pork chops simmered in beer with apples and onions. It is easy and cooks up in about half an hour. Did I mention the caramelized onions and apples that make it taste like a savory apple pie? Ok, good.

Pork is seared, apples and onions are sliced, beer is poured.

Not the prettiest thing to come out of our kitchen, but a recipe we make all the time. Real life.

While things are crazy-busy-hectic, I have not been able to write or bake much outside of work. After this next week things will be back to business as usual, but until then I am going to continue to drink icy gin drinks and enjoy this whole getting married thing. 

Skillet Pork Chops with Apples and Onions
serves 2

2 pork chops, bone in
2 Tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
salt & pepper
2 medium apples, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3 Tablespoons butter
8 oz beer (brown ale or pilsner)
pinch cinnamon
pinch garlic
- - -
1. Heat oil in a large, non-stick skillet
2. Pat pork chops dry with a paper towel and season liberally with salt and pepper
3. Once oil is hot. sear chops on both sides (about 2 min. per side until they have a nice crust on them)
4. Remove pork chops from the pan and set aside at room temp.
5. Add the butter to the hot pan (no need to clean it); once melted and bubble, add the apple and onion slices to the skillet
6. Season with salt, pepper, cinnamon and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally over medium-high heat until apples and onions begin to caramelize
7. Add pork chops back to pan, covering with apples and onions
8. Pour beer on and around the chops
9. Cook on medium-high heat for 25-30 minutes (depending on how thick the chops are); beer will reduce significantly (add more beer if the liquid evaporates before the chops have finished cooking)
10. To serve, place one pork chop on each plate and top with cooked apples and onions; drizzle with the sauce in the pan

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