In my life, pork chops are one of those cozy, comforting, timeless dishes you enjoy at home with your family gathered around the table on a cold winter night or a very merry holiday.
Let's set the scene: the fire is crackling, wine has been poured, Sinatra is playing, you’re telling stories from the day and laughing over distant memories, and just enjoying the beauty of each others’ company over this hearty home cooked meal. That's how I feel when I dream about, make, and eat this dish.
We used to have pork chops and applesauce growing up, and this magical combo never disappoints. That food memory inspired this recipe, and plays a beautiful role as sweet sautéed apples, along with shallots and sage, are swirled into rich and creamy butter, slathered on top of tender, juicy pork chops and served with a side of applesauce, potatoes, polenta or your favorite grains and vegetables. This meal makes me feel so much joy, and I hope it will do the same for you and your loved ones.
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes/Overnight chill for butter
Yield: 4 Servings
For the Make-Ahead Compound Butter:
8 ounces unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon maple syrup
½ sweet varietal of apple, peeled and diced into very small pieces
1 shallot, diced into very small pieces
2 sage leaves, very finely chopped
1 ½ teaspoons flaky salt
For the Pork Chops:
4 1-inch thick boneless pork chops, washed with warm water and patted very dry with paper towels
Salt and pepper for seasoning
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or ghee
2 sprigs rosemary
Make the Butter Ahead of Time:
Add olive oil, maple syrup, apple, shallot, and sage leaves to a non-stick skillet and cook over medium heat until the apple and shallot are softened, about 5 minutes.
Once completely cool, use a spatula to incorporate the mixture into the butter until evenly combined. Spread the butter into a thin layer again. Sprinkle the flaky salt on top and mix to combine.
Drop the compound butter onto a 10x10 sheet of wax paper. Fold up the sides and mold the butter into a 6-inch long log, rolling up and trimming the ends to secure once the shape has formed. Place in the fridge overnight to harden.
When ready to use, remove from the fridge 20 minutes before use.
Prepare the Pork Chops:
Heat butter or ghee in a skillet over medium heat. Add rosemary sprigs. Sear the pork chops in 2 batches, cooking for 3 minutes on each side, spoon basting with the butter as they cook. The center should be slightly pink and the internal temperature should be about 145 degrees F (use a meat thermometer to check).