Seared Pork Chops with a Quick Apple Chutney-ish Pan Sauce
I feel like pork chops don’t get enough attention. We all talk about bacon. pork belly, pork butt (pulled pork) but what about the rest of the pig?! ? Even the leaner meats of pork are *packed* with a slightly sweet, nutty flavor (and are great for absorbing marinades) and deserve recognition. Lately, I’ve been playing with pork loin and of course, pork chops. That’s why we are here today!! The lovely pork chop.
To be specific, this recipe calls for pork loin chops, not pork shoulder chops. You *could* use pork shoulder chops, but if you want them just like mine, go with the bone-in pork loin chops. My store didn’t specify if I purchased rib chops or center cut, but I think (based off of the shape) they were rib chops. Regardless, either will be great. Here is a guide about different pork chops from the Kitchn for your pork chop questions. Anyway, you can make this recipe with any leaner cut of pork, so don’t get upset I you can’t find the same exact ones that I used.
Let’s talk about the sauce. I was going to serve a full blown apple chutney here, but after testing this recipe, I realized that I wanted something quick and …. to put it simply: cooked in the remaining butter and pork fat in the pan. I took the flavors and ingredients of an apple chutney (minus extra fruit juices) and cooked them with the same method that’s used to make a pan sauce. To make this as convenient as possible, it cooks in the 10 minutes that we are letting our pork chops rest. That way everything is ready on time and we have a bomb a$$ meal.
For side dishes, I went with my honey dijon kale salad and added roasted Brussels sprouts and apple slices instead of avocado. You could also go with my dijon chickpeas and a kale salad. Or, just roast your fave vegetable and serve that right on the side! You do you!
Pan-Seared Pork Chops with a Quick Apple Chutney Pan Sauce
Marinade (optional but preferred, even just for 30 minutes!)
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp honey can sub sweetener of your choice
- 3 cloves garlic smashed
- 1/2 small onion diced
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
Apple Chutney Pan Sauce Situation
- 1 gala apple or any apple of your choice
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 small to medium sweet onion can sub an onion of your choice. if using a large onion, use half
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- Salt for seasoning throughout
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground turmeric can sub ground ginger
- 2-2.5 lb pork chops
- Fine salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Garlic powder to taste
- Oil for pan
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- In a plastic bag or large dish, add the marinade ingredients and shake or mix until fully combined. Add the meat and make sure it's fully submerged in the mixture, then set aside. Leave at room temperature for 30 minutes (if only marinating for 30 minutes,) or leave in the fridge to marinate up to 12 hours. If leaving in the fridge, make sure to remove the pork chops 30 minutes ahead of cooking so they come to room temperature.
- As the pork chops marinate, prepare the ingredients for the apple chutney and set aside. This consists of grating the apple, chopping the onions and mincing the garlic. Also, pre-measure your spices.
- Remove the pork chops from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Season generously on both sides with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
- Season a large skillet with an oil of your choice (I used grape seed oil) and heat on high heat. Once the oil begins to shimmer and lightly smoke, add the pork chops to the pan. Sear for 3-4 minutes, until golden brown on one side. Flip, then sear for another 3 minutes. As the pork chops are searing on the second side, add 2 tbsp of unsalted butter to the pan. Let it melt, then tilt the pan to one side. With a large spoon, scoop up the melted butter and begin to baste the pork chops by pouring the melted butter over the pork chops as the cook. I did this for about 1-2 minutes and made sure to baste each pork chop. Once the pork chops reach an internal temperature of 140 degrees F, remove them from the heat and let them rest for 10 minutes. Cover them with foil as they rest so they stay warm!
- Lower the heat to medium low and let the pan cool off for 1 minute. Then, add the onion, apple and garlic to the pan, into the rendered pork fat and leftover melted butter. Season generously with salt to taste. Adjust the heat to medium and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until the onions are tender and the garlic is fragrant. Add the turmeric, cinnamon and ground cloves, and continue to mix together for 1-2 minutes. Then, add the apple cider vinegar and let it reduce for another 2-3 minutes, until its soft and kind of jammy. Taste to make sure all flavors are to your liking. If not, add more spices or salt to taste. If you want more saltiness and moisture in the mixture, you can also add soy sauce. Once its to your liking, remove it from the heat.
- Plate the pork chops with the apple chutney and serve with a side of your choice. I recommend my honey dijon kale salad!