As much as my husband Kurt loves my braised pork loin with its creamy mustard cider sauce, it takes a while to prepare and it makes a lot. When I make my standard barley side dish, the amount of food lasts for days. Pork chops with applesauce and latkes are good, but I didn’t want all that oil spatter. So I went on line to search for a pork chop dish that would evoke the same flavors, but be much simpler to prepare. I found a candidate on the Food Network site, entitled “Pork Chops with Apples and Garlic Smashed Potatoes.” Pork chops seasoned with fresh sage are browned then cooked in a compote of apples, onions and cider. The accompaniment is garlic smashed potatoes made with buttermilk. You can get the recipe for both the chops and potatoes here.
I pulled this meal together in 45 minutes, including a quick spinach saute. Since you use fingerling potatoes, they can cook in the time it takes to prepare the chops and apple/onion saute. I had a handful or two of small white potatoes, so I used those. The apples and onions were a flavorful, but not too sweet; be sure to scrape up the fond from browning the pork chops when you add the cider because it adds a rich flavor to the apples and onions.
Here’s how I made the meal; I omitted the garlic from the mashed potatoes because of my son Ken and veered (of course) from some of the cooking directions, e.g., the instructions on how to boil potatoes.
Scrub the potatoes (no need to peel) and place them in a pot of water to boil til tender, about 15 minutes. When tender, reserve about 1/2 cup of water, then drain the potatoes and return them to the pot.
Season the pork chops with salt, pepper and the chopped fresh sage. Heat some olive oil in a pan and brown the chops on both sides.
Remove them to a plate.
Add more oil to the pan (I didn’t wipe out the pan as I wanted all that porky fond), and brown the apples and onions.
Season with salt and pepper, then add the cider.
Return the chops and any juices to the pan and let simmer covered for 5 minutes, turning once.
In the meantime, mash the potatoes with the buttermilk and season with salt and pepper. I also sauteed some spinach with garlic. We all loved this fresh take on an old classic!