When I was going through recipe clippings recently, I pulled out a bunch that my mom must have cut out. Apparently we have the same tastes in some things. This recipe came from the December 2000 Gourmet magazine. I've made some dishes like it before but let me tell you, this time I wanted to lick the glaze right out of the pan!
In the beginning, I wasn't certain whether we would like the glaze, so I spooned a little bit on the meat and served the rest on the side. It doesn't make much glaze because it cooks down and thickens. I'm wondering if I might double the glaze next time. There will be a next time because this is a keeper for sure. It's the kind of recipe that you won't need to refer to after you make it once or twice, which is perfect for quick dinners.
Even though I read the recipe and looked over the ingredients before I shopped, I had to make some substitutions and it still came out great, so don't be afraid to vary the ingredients just a little bit.
For starters, while I looked for apple cider in two stores, it just wasn't there yet, so I substituted apple juice. I'm sure apple cider is great but it's hard to imagine that it could be any better. The recipe calls for mustard seeds. I planned to use powdered mustard but when I pulled open my spice drawer and took it out –surprise – all gone. I used prepared horseradish mustard instead, and it worked beautifully. *Note that the preparation is a little bit different if you use prepared mustard instead of mustard seeds.
What I do think is very important and shouldn't be varied is the type of meat and the cooking times. Look for a rib-in one-inch thick pork chop. Follow the cooking times exactly to avoid over-cooking.
While it ought to be served with a green vegetable, we ate fresh local corn with it. I also sliced one small red onion and two apples and sautéed them in a little olive oil, then added the exact same ingredients that are in the glaze, except I only added 1/2 cup of apple juice instead of 1 cup. Very fresh and yummy for people who love cooked apples. Southerners who are used to apples cooked in brown sugar may wish to add more brown sugar to the apples.
Pork Chops with Sweet-and-Sour Cider Glaze
from December 2000 Gourmet
recipe by Elizabeth Vought Greene
2 1-inch thick pork chops with rib
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup apple cider or apple juice
1 1/2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds* OR 1 heaping teaspoon prepared mustard*
Dry the chops and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Brown the pork chops about 5 minutes on each side.
Stir the cider, brown sugar, and prepared mustard* together, add to skillet and simmer, uncovered for about three minutes, turning the chops once. Remove the pork chops to a plate and set aside.
Add the vinegar and the mustard seeds* to the pan and bring to a boil, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Simmer uncovered about five minutes until the liquid is reduced to 1/3 cup.
The original recipe returns the meat to the pan to warm it but I simply served the meat with the glaze at that point.