Apple Cider Pork Chops Recipe

Pork chops aren't seen on the family "menu" nearly as often as steaks, chicken breasts, or salmon fillets, and that's likely for two reasons in many households: First, the family chef likely thinks it's hard to make a good chop, and second, the family food critics (aka, kids and partners) likely think they don't much care for pork chops, anyway. This recipe will set the record straight in both departments. 

Of this apple cider pork chop, chef and recipe developer Michelle McGlinn says, "[This recipe is] not difficult, a beginner could do this, but I'd recommend reading the whole recipe and preparing the ingredients before beginning. Once you start, the recipe moves pretty quickly, and you can quickly burn shallots or garlic or reduce the apple cider too fast." 

Plan ahead, and go step-by-step, and the result will be a tasty and tender pork chop that will have this entrée option asked for on repeat — especially if you take a few of McGlinn's pairing ideas. She has served these chops "with mashed sweet potato with thyme and sautéed spinach [but] would also serve this with fresh apples, either cold or stewed, and any kind of stewed green. If preferred, regular mashed potatoes would be delicious also." One more serving idea? "Anything involving bacon," McGlinn says. "I'm thinking of a kale, bacon, and fresh apple salad!"

Gather the ingredients for apple cider pork chops

This recipe calls for a bit of sweet and a bit of savory rounded out by the richness of cream and butter. All told, you'll need four pork loin chops, flour, olive oil, butter (divided), salt, pepper, some finely chopped shallot, minced garlic, fresh apple cider, a few sprigs of fresh thyme, and some heavy whipping cream.

One thing McGlinn wants you to note before you start cooking is the size of your pork chops, saying, "Chop thickness will affect timing slightly. I used very thick chops, so I left them simmering in the apple cider for closer to 15 minutes to cook through. For a thin, half-inch chop, it will only need about 10 minutes."

Bread, season, then sear the pork chops

Begin the recipe by putting the flour in a large bowl or shallow platter, then place your first pork chop into the flour, turning it on all sides to coat it fully. Continue this process with all pork chops until each is fully covered in flour. Then, sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of each chop, and place them aside on a paper-lined plate.

Now, in a deep skillet (to catch spatters and focus heat), warm the oil and 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, place the floured pork chops into the skillet, and brown the meat for about five minutes per side. Once the chops are deeply golden brown on both sides, remove them from the skillet, and turn the heat down to medium-low. "The pork will not be completely cooked through at this stage," says McGlinn.

Sauté the garlic and shallots

Next, in the same skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Once the butter has melted, add the shallots and garlic, and sauté until they are both softened and fragrant, which will take only about 30 seconds to one minute. Deglaze the skillet with the apple cider (Deglazing simply means adding liquid to a hot pan to loosen stuck bits, by the way.), scraping the browned bits loose from the pan as it comes to a simmer. No need to discard them, though — they just add flavor. McGlinn says to be sure that during this step, you "turn the heat down a bit once you remove the pork, or the shallots will burn."

Cook the chops through with thyme, add cream, then enjoy

Once the liquid is simmering in the pan, add the pork chops back to the skillet, and nestle the fresh thyme sprigs down into the liquid. Let things simmer away until the liquid is thickened and the pork is cooked through, or for about 10 to 15 minutes. (Pork needs to hit 145 F internally for safety, FYI.) As things simmer, keep an eye on the cider — if it reduces and gets too thick, add an extra splash at a time until you've reached your desired consistency.

Once the sauce is thickened and the pork is cooked through, stir in the heavy cream. Next, remove the pan from the heat, and remove the thyme sprigs before serving, which you can now do.

Made too much? Take care with handling those leftovers. McGlinn notes, "Chops can get dry very easily. Save the chops with the sauce, and either reheat [them] gently in the oven or in the microwave with the sauce. That should keep [the meat] from drying out too much — I microwaved mine for a quick 45 seconds, and it's still moist and very delicious!"

Apple Cider Pork Chops Recipe
4.9 from 18 ratings
Pair these apple cider pork chops with mashed sweet potatoes and spinach for the perfect kind of fall meal.
Prep Time
8
minutes
Cook Time
30
minutes
Servings
4
Servings
cooked pork chop on plate
Total time: 38 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 pork loin chops, ½ to 1 inch thick
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • ½ shallot, finely chopped, (about ¼ cup)
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 ½ cups fresh apple cider
  • 7 to 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
Directions
  1. Put the flour in a large bowl or shallow platter.
  2. Place your first pork chop in the flour, turning on all sides to coat evenly. Continue this process with all pork chops until covered in flour.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides, and place on a paper-lined plate.
  4. In a deep skillet, heat the oil and 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat.
  5. Once the butter is melted, place the floured pork chops into the skillet, and brown, about 5 minutes per side.
  6. Once deeply golden brown on both sides, remove the chops from the skillet, and turn the heat down to medium-low. (The pork will not be completely cooked through at this stage.)
  7. In the same skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.
  8. Add the shallots and garlic, and sauté until softened and fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  9. Deglaze the skillet with the apple cider, scraping loose the browned bits as it comes to a simmer.
  10. Once the liquid is simmering, add the pork chops back to the skillet, and nestle the fresh thyme sprigs into the liquid. Simmer until the liquid is thickened and the pork is cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes. (As it simmers, keep an eye on the cider: If it reduces and gets too thick, add an extra splash at a time until you've reached your desired consistency.)
  11. Once the sauce is thickened and the pork is cooked through, stir in the heavy whipping cream.
  12. Remove the skillet from the heat, remove the thyme sprigs, then serve.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 672
Total Fat 44.6 g
Saturated Fat 20.3 g
Trans Fat 0.5 g
Cholesterol 145.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 39.9 g
Dietary Fiber 2.4 g
Total Sugars 10.6 g
Sodium 659.6 mg
Protein 28.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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