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Fennel Braised Pork Chops with an Apple Cider Demi Glace; Apple Cider Demi Glace

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Ingredients

  • Ingredients:
  • Fennel Braised Pork Chops: (Note, the demi glace will be quite salty and no additional salt is needed for the chops.)
  • 2 lbs 1 1/2″ thick Pork Chops (2 very large or 4 small chops)
  • 1 Apple, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1 Fennel bulb, fronds removed and saved, sliced
  • 4 sprigs fresh Thyme
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh Sage, minced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground Black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground Fennel
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons of Argan oil (or hazelnut or olive oil)
  • 1/4 cup Apple Cider
  • Apple Cider Demi Glace (Adapted from Cuisine Unlimited)
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 head garlic, cut in half
  • 2 shallots, quartered
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 dozen peppercorns
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • Sea salt (To taste, I found it unnecessary but this will depend on the saltiness of your chicken stock.)
  • White pepper (I used a very tiny pinch)

Details

Servings 4

Preparation

Step 1

Dami Glace
Directions:

Set a heavy saucepan (preferably non-stick) over high heat. Add the apple cider and bring the liquid to a boil. Lower the heat to maintain a steady simmer and cook until the cider is reduced by half. Add the apple cider vinegar to the pan and simmer until the mixture is reduced by one-third. Next add the garlic, shallots, bay leaves, peppercorns, and the chicken stock. Bring the liquid to a controlled boil and cook until the sauce is reduced by about two thirds. When approximately 1 cup of liquid remains, take the pan off the heat and pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a heatproof bowl. Press down on any solids with a spoon, extracting as much liquid as possible. Return the strained liquid to the pan, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning, until the demi glace resembles the consistency of honey (it will be reduced to about 4 Tablespoons). Carefully scrape the demi glace into a heatproof bowl, stir in a tiny pinch of white pepper and taste to see if salt is needed. Set aside until ready to use for the pork. The demi glace can be made ahead and kept up to one week in the fridge. Bring it to room temperature before using (otherwise it will be very thick and hard to spread).

Pork
Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees with a rack in the middle. In the bottom of a medium size 2-3″ deep casserole dish layer apple slices, fennel fronds, fennel slices, and thyme sprigs. In a small bowl mix together the sage, black pepper, ground fennel, and garlic powder. Rub the spice mixture on both sides of the pork chops. Place the pork chops on top of the layered vegetables in the casserole dish. Drizzle argan oil on top of the chops and pour the apple cider into a corner of the casserole dish. Cover the dish with foil and place in the oven. Bake for 60 minutes.

After 60 minutes, remove the foil, check the temperature of the pork by sticking a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chop. Brush the demi glace on top of each pork chop. Continue to bake, uncovered, until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees, about 15-30 minutes depending on the thickness of the chop. Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the pork chops to a platter. Serve with cooked apples and fennel alongside the pork.

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