Pork Chops Smothered with Apples, Onions, & Bacon

If you salt a chicken the day before cooking, it starts to break down the cell structure of the meat and allows it to take on more flavor and actually helps it to stay more moist. Same goes for a steak, a pork chop. A lot of people brine; we preseason.
Michael Symon
Pork Chops smothered 3These pork chops were fantastic and Paleo friendly if you follow the recipe…oops was I not supposed to use flour?  I don’t like arrowroot and given that I am not on a Paleo diet to hell with the arrowroot.  My gravy was wonderful very smooth and not a gloppy mess like I have seen served in some restaurants and the perfect blend of apples onions, and bacon gently seasoned with a touch of porcini dust (optional) and thyme made this a keeper in my book.  Be sure to use the best pork chops that you can find and for tender juicy results, don’t over cook the chops.  The recipe says 30 minutes cooking time, but honestly 10-15 was just enough for my chops tonight.

Serve with “berry good salad” adorned with fruit, cheese and nuts…link below or click on salad photo to take you there.

Spinach Salad
The recipe can found all over the internet, but I went with NomNom Paleo’s recipe for the most part.  As I mentioned I didn’t use arrowroot as the gravy looked too opaque and weak good enough for Paleo followers, but I have a gravy man on my hands  so I used AP flour for the gravy adding pinches of porcini dust that I make and store to add a boost of an earthy taste to many things, but not necessary.  Other than that I followed the recipe for the most part…I did splash in a bit of apple cider to deglazed the pan after sautéing the apples and onions.

Pork Chops Smothered

Pork Chops smothered 4

Serves 4

3 slices thick cut bacon, cut into ¼ inch slices
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder ( for a roux use equal parts fat and flour)
1½ cups  chicken stock
1 teaspoon fish sauce
4 (¾-inch-thick) bone-in pork chops
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ghee (butter was just fine)
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 apple, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
2 fat garlic cloves, minced
2 fresh thyme sprigs

Render the bacon drippings by frying the bacon in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, remove crisp bacon to a paper towel lined small plate or bowl.
Over medium-low heat, whisk the arrowroot powder into the drippings to form a smooth roux or add the AP flour to make a roux, cooking the rawness out, whisking constantly for a golden color.
Pour in the broth and fish sauce and stir until incorporated.
Increase the heat to medium-high, and bring the sauce to a boil.
Cook until it’s thickened (around 3 minutes). Cover the saucepan and set it aside.
Season the chops on both sides with salt and pepper.
Heat 1 tablespoon of ghee or butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the chops and cook on each side for 1 minute or until golden-brown.
Transfer the chops to a plate.
Toss the onions and apple—along with a sprinkle of salt—into the empty skillet.
Cook, stirring constantly, until the onions are browned on the edges (about 5 minutes). Be sure to scrape up as much of the browned porky bits on the bottom of the skillet.
Add the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
Transfer the chops back into the skillet, and smother ’em with the cooked onions and apple.
Pour the reserved sauce onto the chops, add the thyme sprigs.  Bring the sauce to a boil over high heat. Then, reduce the heat to low, and cover the skillet. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the pork chops are fork tender.

Plate the chops, and top them with gravy and the reserved bacon bits.