I have been making these cider baked pork chops by the king of comfort food – Nigel Slater for a few years now. Very quick to prepare, easy to bung in the oven and just what I needed now that the weather is turning Autumnal. These chops are not at all dry or tough after being roasted in the cider, just make sure you use a good dry cider so that the sauce isn’t too sweet. Having been struggling with the change of light quality these last few weeks but think I have finally cracked the secret…shoot earlier in the day!
Cider Baked Pork Chops
4 pork chops, good thick ones with lots of fat
salt and freshly ground black pepper
a good glug olive oil
1 large onion, or 2 small ones, peeled, chopped
2 eating apples, each cut into 8 wedges
a few fresh sage leaves
400ml dry cider
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.Season the chops well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
In a large shallow ovenproof pan, heat the olive oil and fry the rind of each chop for a good head start to getting them crisp. Then lightly fry each side for a few minutes to get the outside crusty and golden brown, then remove from the pan. Add the onion to the same pan with the pork juices, and brown a little before adding in the apple wedges and sage leaves (add only a few as sage can overpower the dish).
Add the chops back into the pan, and nestle them among the apples and onions, along with the remaining whole apples. Pour over the cider, enough to just cover the ingredients, season to taste and place in the oven for about half an hour, or until the pork and apple are cooked.
Serve with creamy mash and vegetables.