Pork chops
Photo: Romulo Yanes
Mark Bittman says this method, which is essentially a quick braise, is perfect for pork chops: The browning helps the meat taste rich, while the moisture keeps it tender and juicy. You can make the dish with apples and onions, just onions, or onions and peppers or mushrooms.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 1"-thick pork chops, preferably bone in (6 to 8 ounces each)
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or light-bodied beer
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped shallot or red onion
  • 3 medium apples, peeled, cored, halved, and sliced
  • 1 large onion, halved and sliced
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock or water, or more as needed
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish

Directions


Blot the chops dry with a paper towel. Put a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. When it's hot, add the chops, turn the heat to high, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. When they brown and release from the pan easily, turn the chops, season again, and cook this side the same way. The whole process should take about 2 minutes per side or 3 to 5 minutes total.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the wine—be careful here; the wine may splatter a bit when it hits the hot oil—and the shallot and cook, turning the chops once or twice, until the wine is almost evaporated, 1 or 2 minutes. Transfer the chops to a plate and return the pan to the heat.

Add the apples and onion to the hot pan and stir until they start to stick, 1 or 2 minutes. Add the stock, stirring and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the chops to the pan, along with any juices accumulated on the plate. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat so it bubbles steadily, then cover.

Cook, stirring occasionally and turning the chops once or twice, until the chops are tender, 5 to 10 minutes; add another 1/2 cup stock or water if the apples start to stick. When the chops are done, they will be firm to the touch, their juices will run just slightly pink, and when you cut into them the color will be rosy at first glance but turn pale within seconds. By this time the apples and onions will also be soft. Stir in the lemon juice and butter and taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve the chops with the sauce on top, garnished with the parsley.

From How to Cook Everything: The Basics (Wiley), by Mark Bittman.

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