Pork Chops with Bourban Apple Pan Sauce
To prevent the chops in our Pork Chops with Bourbon-Apple Pan Sauce from curling as they cooked, we cut two slits about 2 inches apart through the fat and connective tissue around the outside of each chop. Developing the sauce in the same skillet we used to brown the chops helped flavor the sauce. The natural pectin in the apple butter produced a thick, glossy sauce for our chops in a matter of minutes while the cooked chops rested.
- 4 bone-in rib or center-cut pork chops, about 1-inch thick (see image below)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/3 cup bourbon
- 1/4 cup apple butter
- 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1. Pat chops dry with paper towels and season with salt, pepper, and 1 teaspoon brown sugar. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Cook chops until well browned, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to plate and tent with foil.
2. Add orange juice, bourbon, apple butter, vinegar, and remaining brown sugar to now-empty skillet. Cook over medium heat, scraping up any browned bits, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Whisk in butter and thyme. Return chops and any accumulated juices to skillet and simmer, turning to coat, until meat registers 145 degrees, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.
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