Pork Chops with Spicy Applesauce
This time of year is all about sharing meals with family and friends, and being grateful for everything we have. It’s also a time to give back and recognize others who contribute to our communities in important ways.
Some of my favorite causes to support are those focused on making Detroit a great place to live, work and play. Everybody knows the city has been through some rough times, but it’s on its way to becoming great again.
One person who I think exemplifies the spirit of what’s going on in Detroit right now is Jason Hall, the co-founder of Slow Roll Detroit. Slow Roll is a weekly group bicycle ride with a goal of showing off Detroit to residents and visitors alike.
Slow Roll explores neighborhoods, art projects, community gardens, beautiful architecture, historic locations, new projects, and uniquely amazing Detroit spots, and has brought a ton of great press coverage to our city.
How about making a “Porksgiving” meal for somebody who makes an impact on your community? For this particular recipe, I wanted to make something both simple and special.
I used Ribeye pork rib chops, prepared as quickly as searing them in a skillet on the stovetop, then transferring them to the oven until they are cooked through.
I love the combination of savory pork and sweet fruit, like my baked ham with pineapple sauce and my Instant Pot sweet and sour chicken with can be made with either pineapple or apple. I also love to serve chicken with roasted grapes.
So, while the juicy and tender chops are in the oven doing their thing, use the time to make a spicy applesauce with fresh apples, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper and a hint of rosemary.
Don’t like things too spicy? Omit the cayenne and cut back on the red pepper flakes, or just use this recipe as a basic sweet applesauce recipe, omitting the spice altogether.
I love this dish served alongside a roasted radicchio wedge salad, for a complete meal.
For the Pork Chops:
- 4 Ribeye pork rib chops
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 1-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
For the Spicy Applesauce:
- 1-1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 Gala apples, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- Make the Pork Chops: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Sprinkle both sides of pork chops with salt and pepper.
- Heat large skillet over medium-high heat; add vegetable oil. Place chops in skillet; cook 3 minutes per side.
- Transfer to oven and bake 6 to 8 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F for medium-rare (or 160 degrees F for medium). Transfer chops to serving platter and let rest 3 minutes before serving.
- Meanwhile, make the Spicy Applesauce: Heat olive oil in medium pot over medium-high heat. Add apples and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add brown sugar, vinegar, red pepper flakes, cayenne, salt and pepper; cook an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in rosemary. Serve pork chops with warm applesauce.
Home Chef Tip: Boneless cuts of pork are popular, but there's a reason you generally see bone-in cuts at restaurants - they have more flavor! Bone-in cuts are just as easy to prepare at home, you just need to know how to do it. With a little practice, you'll be singing the praises of bone-in cuts.