Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Paleo Smothered Pork Chops w Carrot Applesauce

I channeled my inner Peter Brady while making dinner last night. If the reference is lost on you, then I feel old! He thought pork chops paired with applesauce was just swell, and I do too.

I jazzed up my homemade applesauce a bit with a little more spice and carrots. The kids were totally smitten, as were the grownups. You could make the sauce on the stove top, but there is something magnificent about the smell of apple cinnamon that will fill your kitchen if you do it in the crock pot.

The pork chop recipe is adapted from Cooks Illustrated; the original recipe called for bone-in chops but I went for the more kid-friendly option of boneless (which were also on sale at Whole Foods).
Crock Pot Carrot Applesauce

6 peeled & cored apples, cut into chunks (I used half Granny Smith, half Gala)
4 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 cup palm sugar (or natural sweetener of choice)
juice of one lemon
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tbs. apple pie spice (can use cinnamon with a bit of nutmeg and allspice as well)

Combine all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4. Use a potato masher to break up any remaining chunks of carrot and apple, or puree in a blender until smooth. I found my carrots were still a bit too hard to hand mash, so I went the blender route.

The pork recipe comes together easily, but just requires about half an hour cook time on the stove top. While I did include the bacon called for in the original recipe, I honestly think the dish would do fine without as well. The real flavor comes from the gravy and onions.
Smothered Pork Chops
adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

3 slices nitrite-free bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 tbs. coconut or almond flour
1 3/4 cups organic chicken broth
olive oil
4 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick pork chops
ground black pepper
2 medium yellow onions, halved pole-to-pole and sliced thin (about 3 1/2 cups)
salt, to taste
2 tbs. water
3 minced garlic cloves
1 tsp. minced fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves

Fry bacon in small saucepan over medium heat until lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove bacon, leaving fat in saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low and gradually whisk flour into fat until smooth. Cook, whisking frequently, until mixture is light brown, about 5 minutes.

Whisk in chicken broth in gradually; increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Cover and set aside off heat.

Heat 1 tbs. oil in a large skillet over high heat. Meanwhile, dry pork chops with paper towels and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. black pepper. Sear chops in single layer until deep golden on first side, about 3 minutes. Flip chops and cook until browned on second side, about 3 minutes more. Transfer chops to large plate and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium and add 1 tbs. olive oil, onions, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and water to the same skillet. Using wooden spoon, scrape browned bits on pan bottom and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are softened and browned around the edges, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and thyme and cook about 30 seconds longer.

Return chops to skillet in single layer, covering with onions. Pour in warm sauce and any juices collected from pork; add bay leaves. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until pork is tender and paring knife inserted into chops meets very little resistance, about 30 minutes.

Transfer chops to warmed serving platter and tent with foil. Increase heat to medium-high and simmer sauce rapidly, stirring frequently, until thickened to gravy-like consistency, about 5 minutes.

Discard bay leaves, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover chops with sauce, sprinkle with reserved bacon, and serve immediately.

No comments:

Post a Comment