Chef Mollie Willing-Snider prepares Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Cabbage, Apple, and Onion
Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Cabbage, Apple, and Onion
- 1 quart Very Cold Water
- ¼ cup Kosher Salt
- ¼ cup Honey
- 6-8 Black Pepper Corns
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 6 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
These days, pork chops are generally cut lean which is great for your heart but a little tough on the taste buds. So often, pork chops are dry and flavorless. A quick brine is a great solution. I brine my chops for just 45 minutes before I cook them and the results are juicy chops with tons of flavor.
To make the brine, combine the cold water, honey and salt in a bowl. Whisk until the honey and salt dissolve (don’t worry if all the salt is not dissolved). Add the remaining ingredients. Place the chops in a gallon sealable bag. Pour the brine over the chops. Seal the bag and place in a bowl (just so it won’t leak all over). Refrigerate for 45 minutes.
- 4 large Bone-On Pork Chops, at least 3/4-inch thick
- 1 large Sweet Onion, julienne
- 2 Granny Smith Apples, sliced
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 2 Cloves Garlic, smashed and peeled
- 2 cups Red Cabbage, washed, spun and julienne
- 1 cup Dry White Wine (you could substitute apple cider or chicken stock)
- 2 Tablespoon Fresh Sage, chiffonade
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
- Kosher Salt
- Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Remove the pork chops from the brine and pat dry with paper towel. Discard brine. Season your chops on both sides with salt and pepper.
Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once the pan in hot, add the oil and swirl to cover the bottom of the pan. Add the pork chops in a single layer. Cook, undisturbed, for 5 minutes, flip and cook the other side, undisturbed, for 5 minutes more (it’s okay to take a peek, just to make sure all is well and you don’t need to adjust the heat). The surface of your chops should be a gorgeous caramelized golden brown. Transfer the chops to a plate and tent with aluminum foil. Discard oil.
Return your sauté pan to the burner and heat again over medium-high. Add the butter. When the butter has melted add your julienne apples and onions. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the apples and onions have begun to brown and have softened, about 7 to 9 minutes.
Measure out the cup of wine. Stir the Dijon mustard and the fresh sage into the wine. Add the wine mixture to the pan and scrap the bottom of the pan vigorously to deglaze.
Add the red cabbage and the 2 smashed garlic cloves to the pan. Stir to incorporate, reduce the temperature to medium, cover and cook for 4 minutes, lifting the lid to stir once about half-way through.
Return the pork chops and any accumulated juices on the plate to the pan and cook until the chops are tender and cooked to 145°F degrees, about 10 to 12 minutes. Plate the pork chops on a serving platter. Surround and cover the meat with the cabbage, apple, onion mixture. Serve.
Chef’s Note: Only ever use very cold water for a brine. You could even add some ice cubes. Placing any type of meat into even just a tepid water brine is dangerous and could make you sick. Remember the food danger zone exists between 40°and 140° F degrees.
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