This dish is a total splurge, just throw caution to the wind. I mean, really, how often can you make a dish with heavy cream and pork and wine? Pork chops and apples is a favorite in this house. I have made it for many requested birthday dinners, one of Picky Eater’s favorites, as well as for guests. But sometimes, as soon as the fall weather hits, I make it for a regular, ordinary weeknight dinner. Except I wouldn’t call it ordinary, it’s definitely special.
Pork chops and apples is classic French food. I clipped this recipe out of the newspaper when I lived in Chicago, years ago and newly married. The recipe was adapted from Simple French Food, by Richard Olney. It is very simple and very rich, but not too rich. The cream and mustard and wine marry beautifully with the apples and pork. I serve it with orzo pasta and a green vegetable, like brussels sprouts or broccoli. The sauce and apples spooned over the orzo is crazy good.
Not many ingredients here, so quality matters. Use a good dijon mustard and you all know I prefer Maille. And I find heavy cream varies a lot by brand and type. Try and use a heavy whipping cream that is organic. It really makes a difference in the sauce as it bakes. I’ve just noticed this over the years making this dish. Sometimes the sauce is not as creamy and I think it has to do with the type of cream I used.
Next time you feel the urge for something rich and comforting, go French with this classic and simple dish. Meathead and I were in heaven the other night and had to keep from eating it all up. Glad we stopped because the leftovers for dinner the next night were even better.
Pork Chops and Apples in Mustard Sauce
- 3 - 4 apples, quartered, cored, peeled and sliced thinly (I use Gala)
- 4 pork rib chops, about 3/4-inch thick
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Kosher salt to taste
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- ⅓ cup dijon mustard, or to taste (I just eyeball it, a couple big spoonfuls)
- freshly ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 400º. Spread apples in a lightly buttered baking dish (one large enough to hold the chops in one layer) and bake for 15 minutes.
- Mix the cream and mustard in a small bowl or measuring cup. Salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
- While apples are baking, lightly salt the pork chops. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chops and cook until nicely browned, about 5 minutes a side.
- Arrange the chops over the apples. Add the wine to the skillet and deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits. Boil until wine is reduced by half and then dribble it over the chops. (I eyeball the wine, just pouring it out of the bottle, I probably use a little more than ¼ cup.)
- Pour the cream and mustard mixture over the chops and apples. Shake the dish gently so the cream penetrates the apples. Be careful, the baking dish will be hot!
- Bake 20 minutes longer to finish cooking the chops. I usually then turn off the oven and let the chops stay in another 20 minutes.
- Let rest for 5 minutes or so. Serve chops and apples over orzo pasta.
*Adapted from Simple French Food
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