The classic, flavorful pairing of pork chops and applesauce is reinvented with an autumnal theme! Pumpkin-Cider Braised Pork Chops with Shallots and Thyme is easy to prepare and a one pot meal that celebrates the flavors of the fall season!
If you have any doubts whether or not fall has arrived, today’s recipe will convince you it is definitely here!
The flavors of autumn are distinct, as are the signature aromas when fall foods are cooking. Amber tones, rustic reds, and tawny hues grace our dinner tables and warm our palates.
I think you’ll love these Pumpkin-Cider Braised Pork Chops with Shallots and Thyme served on a bed of Pumpkin Spice Applesauce!
You can even make your own Spiced Apple Cider with pumpkin to use.
There were two signature pairings which made a regular appearance at our family dinner table when I was growing up: lamb chops with mint jelly, and pork chops and applesauce. Until I was an adult the combination of pork chops and applesauce were inextricably linked, like night and day, Laurel and Hardy, Penn and Teller and peanut butter and jelly. I couldn’t imagine one without the other.
Pumpkin is an obvious choice though for me apples is another favorite flavor with so many versatile uses, savory to sweet.
I used Pumpkin Spiced Apple Cider it seemed perfect for braising. However regular apple cider can also be used.
What is braising?
Braising is a method of searing meat, adding vegetables and simmering one pot until done. Another favorite fall recipe is Cider-Braised Chicken Thighs with Apples and Onions. Braising is an easy cooking method that produces a cozy meal without much fuss.
My beloved childhood favorite sprang to mind but in a more grown up form. Center loin boneless pork chops cooked with shallots and thyme, simmered in Pumpkin Spiced Apple Cider. The perfectly cooked pork chops have a wonderful ‘mouth feel’ and texture. The dish sings the flavors of fall. Neatly plated atop a large scoop of Pumpkin Spice Apple Sauce and a sophisticated yet homey meal is made!
Pumpkin-Cider Braised Pork Chops with Shallots and Thyme
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 4 Boneless Center Cut Pork Loin Chops (approximately 2 pounds total)
- 5 medium Shallots , peeled, cut into thin slices across the shallot and separated into rings
- 2 large Garlic Cloves , peeled and diced
- 1 teaspoon fresh Thyme leaves (with some sprigs reserved for garnish)
- ¾ cup Pumpkin Spiced Apple Cider or regular Apple Cider
- ¾ cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock
- ½ cup Apple Brandy*
- 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- Pumpkin Spice Applesauce or regular apple sauce
- Supplies: instant read thermometer
- In a large skillet (which has a tight fitting lid), heat the olive oil over medium high heat until the surface of the oil is shimmering. Combine the salt and pepper, and sprinkle over both sides of the pork chops. Place a plate next to the stovetop.
- Sear the pork chops for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove chops from the skillet and set on a plate.
- Reduce heat to medium, and add the shallots, garlic and thyme to the skillet. Sauté until the shallots become limp and transparent (approximately 5 minutes).
- Combine the cider, chicken stock and brandy and gently pour into the hot skillet (be careful of splattering!). Scrape the bottom of the pan with a heatproof spatula to deglaze the pan and free any bit of pork. Stir in the Dijon mustard.
- Return the pork chops to the skillet, turn the heat to low and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until the internal temperature of the pork chops reaches 140 degrees. Remove the pork chops and set them on a clean plate; tent with foil (they will continue to cook while tented).
- Increase the heat to medium-high and allow the pan juices in the skillet to come to a boil. Cook, stirring periodically until the juices reduce by half (approximately 5 minutes).
- To serve: place a 1-2 large spoonfuls of the applesauce on dining plates; add a pork chop on top. Place some of the shallots on the chop and drizzle with pan juices. Serve immediately.