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Pork Chops with Thyme-Scented Apples over Cheddar Polenta

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Serves 4

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 143

Pork and apple juices mingle beautifully and make a lovely sauce for the chops and cheesy polenta.

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup polenta (cornmeal)
  • 3 oz. sharp Cheddar, coarsely grated (about 1 cup)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 4 1-inch-thick boneless center-cut pork chops (about 1-1/2 lb.)
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 2 tart apples, cored and sliced into 16 wedges each
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • Light brown sugar
Tip:
For even creamier polenta, replace 1 cup of the milk with heavy cream.

In a 3-quart saucepan, bring the milk and a large pinch of salt to a simmer over medium heat. Slowly whisk in the polenta, reduce the heat to medium low, and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 cup water and cook, stirring occasionally, until the polenta is thick and creamy, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the cheese, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Season the pork with salt and cook, flipping once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in a chop close to, but not touching, the bone registers 140°F, about 8 minutes total. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.

Add the apple cider, apples, and thyme to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Add brown sugar to taste. Serve the apples and sauce over the pork chops and polenta.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 670, Fat Calories (kcal): 270, Fat (g): 30, Saturated Fat (g): 15, Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 10, Cholesterol (mg): 140, Sodium (mg): 570, Carbohydrates (g): 52, Fiber (g): 3, Sugar (g): 22, Protein (g): 46

Photo: Scott Phillips

This was super easy and totally delicious.

Great recipe, fast for weeknights and the apples are such a treat. I cooked the pork and apples in a 12 inch cast iron skillet. Used pink lady apples and didn't add any sugar. Served with roasted Brussel sprouts, although you really don't need an additional side. Will make this again!

Great meal! Made this on a cold, rainy, fall day and it was perfect- warm, comforting and relatively fast. I tweaked it slightly and added big, diagonally sliced celery wedges to the apples, which added crunch and heft to the meal. Served it with sautéed kale with carmalized red onion and crunchy fried garlic. Delish! Next time I might make this with bone in chops for a bit more flavor, but these were great as is.

This was quick and easy, and my husband and children all enjoyed it. I will definitely add it to our fall rotation.

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