I made this as a belated weekend-night Valentine’s Day dinner. I went to several stores to shop for the potato starch used to thicken the sauce- probably unnecessary- because so little is used, cornstarch would have sufficed. The spiced salt is quite salty, I didn’t have to add any extra to the sauce. I also used thicker pork chops, so the cooking time was much longer than 4 minutes per side. I cooked them to an internal temperature of 145 degrees. The sautéed apples were fabulous. This recipe is from The New York Times, contributed by David Tanis.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
FOR THE SPICED SALT
- 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 3 cloves
- 4 allspice berries
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped sage
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
FOR THE PORK AND SAUCE
- 6 boneless pork chops, 4 ounces each, about 1/2-inch thick
- 2 large apples
- 2 tablespoons butter
- All-purpose flour, for dusting
- 1/2 cup hard cider, plus 2 tablespoons
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 and 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons potato starch dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water
- 3 tablespoons crème fraîche
- 1 tablespoon Calvados, apple brandy or Cognac, optional
- 2 tablespoons finely cut chives
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Make the spice salt: Put peppercorns, cloves, allspice and sage in a spice mill or mortar and grind to a powder. Remove to a bowl and stir in salt. Season pork chops on both sides with salt mixture. (There will be some salt mixture remaining; use it to season the sauce, Step 4.) Cover and leave chops at room temperature to absorb seasonings for at least 30 minutes.
- Peel, quarter and core apples, then cut each apple into 12 wedges. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a wide skillet and raise heat to medium-high. Add apple wedges in one layer and brown gently on one side, about 2 minutes. Brown on the other side and cook for 2 minutes more, or until apples are cooked through but still firm. Remove apples from pan and keep warm.
- Add 1 tablespoon butter to pan and swirl to melt. Dust pork chops with flour, and place in pan and brown gently for about 4 minutes per side. Adjust heat if necessary to keep pork from cooking too quickly. Remove chops and keep warm on a platter in a low oven. Discard remaining butter.
- Add ½ cup cider to pan, raise heat to high and cook down to a syrup. Add mustard and chicken broth, and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Add potato starch and stir with a wire whisk as the sauce thickens. Stir in crème fraîche. Season to taste with remaining spiced salt. Add 2 tablespoons cider and the Calvados, if using. Cook for 1 minute more.
- Spoon sauce over the chops, then spoon the apples around the platter. Sprinkle with chives and parsley.