Autumn Was Made For Gingered Apple Pork Chops

Easy cooking, easy clean-up in one pan.
Easy cooking, easy clean-up in one pan.

Pork, apples and grapes are an unbeatable trio especially at this time of year.

Best yet, “Gingered Apple Pork Chops” can be prepared in just one skillet. It’s practically fast enough for a weeknight meal and impressive enough looking for company, too.

It’s from the new cookbook, “Half Baked Harvest Super Simple: More Than 125 Recipes for Instant, Overnight, Meal-Prepped, and Easy Comfort Foods” (Clarkson Potter), of which I received a review copy.

The book is by Colorado recipe developer Tieghan Gerard, creator of the blog, Half Baked Harvest.

Included are more than 125 recipes, most of which take 30 minutes or less to make. As the title implies, these are dishes that make use of organized prepping, streamlined techniques, a well-stocked pantry, and helpful gadgets at times.

Tuck into everything from “Buttery Croissant Strata” and “The Best Pressure Cooker Mashed Potatoes” to “Sheet Pan Cuban Steak” and “Slow-Roasted Moroccan Salmon.”

In this recipe, the pork chops get seared, the onions sauteed with garlic and ginger, and the apples, grapes and jalapenos cooked until tender, all in the same pan that goes into the oven to finish.

The pork chops emerge juicy in a brothy apple wine-like sauce. Toasted cumin seeds add a toasty citrus note that marries exceedingly well with the apples and grapes, too. The jalapenos add a vivid grassy note.

The recipe states that two pork chops serve 4, since they are served sliced, off the bone and portioned among four plates. But since I have Meat Boy, aka my husband, in my household, I think this serves more like 2 to 3. That’s the only change I made to this dish that’s deliciously kissed by the flavors of autumn.

Serves two hungry carnivores or four with more moderate appetites.
Serves two hungry carnivores or four with more moderate appetites.

Gingered Apple Pork Chops

(Serves 2 to 4)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 bone-in pork chops, about 1-inch thick, and 8 to 10 ounces each

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, smashed

1 inch fresh ginger, grated or chopped

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

1/2 cup apple cider

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 to 2 jalapeno or red Fresno peppers, seeded and sliced

4 sprigs of fresh thyme

1 Honeycrisp apple, cored and cut into 1/4-inch slices

1 cup red grapes

3 tablespoons salted butter

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper. When the oil shimmers, add the chops and sear until browned on both sides, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer the chops to a plate.

In the same skillet, combine the onion, garlic, ginger, and cumin seeds and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is fragrant and the cumin seeds are toasted, about 5 minutes. Pour in the cider and vinegar, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Increase the heat to high, bring the cider mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low.

Slide the pork chops and any collected juices back into the skillet. Add the jalapeno and thyme and sprinkle the apples and grapes around the pork. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into the center of the meat registers 135 degrees, 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove the skillet from the oven. Add the butter and let it melt over the pork chops.

Let the chops sit 5 minutes, then cut away the bone in each and cut them into 1/4-inch-thick slices. To serve, divide the pork, apples, and grapes among four plates and spoon the pan sauce over the tops.

Adapted from “Half Baked Harvest Super Simple” by Tieghan Gerard

More Fall Fruit Recipes to Fall For: Haloumi with Grapes

And: Cheesecake Souffle with Roasted Grape and Vanilla Gastrique

And: Grape and Vin Santo Cakes

Plus: Custard Tart with Wine-Poached Grapes

And: Arugula Salad with Roasted Grapes

And: Celery and Apple Salad with Pounded Almonds, Anchovies, Parmesan, and Parsley

And: Apple-Stuffed Biscuit Buns

And: Apple Snacking Spice Cake

And: Apple-Pork Ragu with Pappardelle

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