How This Sweet Fruit Can Elevate Your Pork Chops

There's no better comfort food when the weather edges into those crisp, cool late summer nights than a succulent, juicy pork chop nestled next to a mound of buttery mashed potatoes. Most of the time, you'll also see savory, perfectly spiced pork chops paired with roasted apples or applesauce. The idea of combining meat and fruit can be somewhat controversial — let's not forget the whole pineapple and ham on pizza debate. Yet, there's no denying that pork and apples have a special, long-standing relationship. The apple's tart sweetness balances the salty, unctuous meat, creating an unbeatable match for your palette. Per The Old Foodie, this classic pairing is said to date back centuries when pigs roamed freely in apple orchards and gobbled up the wind-fallen fruits from the trees. Farmers also fed their pigs rotting apples, so they wouldn't go to waste, and before sugar was readily available, fruit was often used to sweeten meat dishes or accompany them.

So, it makes sense that other fruits could equally bring out the best in the pork chop, and maybe even take it to the next level. Madre chef Sam Grainger has a fruit in mind that can take your pork chops straight to Flavortown. Hint: It rhymes with "beach."

Peaches will kick your pork chops up a notch

According to chef Grainger in The Guardian, peaches and pork are the "ultimate" pairing. Grainger says that the "sweet, slightly acidic peaches work best with fatty pork cuts," like a pork belly or collar. Plus, if you have some peaches at the tail-end of summer before apple season starts, this is the perfect dish to use them on.

All you have to do to elevate your chops is to pan-fry them (don't forget to season) and then let them rest, so the juices can redistribute throughout the meat. While your pork chops are resting, cut the peaches in half and brown in the same pan you cooked the chops in on medium heat for four or five minutes — just enough to get them soft, but not too soft so that they become mushy. They should be able to hold up next to your chops and have a little bite to them. If you want to get extra fancy, make a quick sauce with the peach juices and the browned bits left over from the pork. Grainger says to deglaze your pan with some fino sherry or white wine, then finish with a "good knob of butter." Top with a garnish of thyme or crispy sage for extra flavor and color. Voilà! You have yourself a restaurant-worthy meal that'll impress your friends (and your taste buds).