Caramel Apple Pork Chops

Sophia helps make the caramel apples!

A friend of mine shared a link to this fun recipe a week or two ago and since I had been planning on pork chops that night anyway, I decided “why the heck not?”!

Pork and apples go together like bread and butter…the sweetness of the fruit complements the meat so very well that they’re simply a perfect match. This recipe ups the sweetness factor and was so delicious we actually had no leftovers whatsoever!

Sophia wanted to help tonight, so while I pared the apples, she measured the sugar and cinnamon. (She actually measured the cinnamon three times before she got it right and we lost some on the counter…and the floor…but she had fun.) She also had fun learning about where cinnamon and nutmeg come from and playing a bit with the nutmeg grinder I bought a few years back. Seriously, if you don’t have a nutmeg grinder, get one…the flavor difference between fresh and pre-ground is astounding.

Caramel Apple Pork Chops

Amazingly, my kids didn’t care too much for the sauce as it was a little too sticky (I think I overcooked it by a minute or two which with caramels makes a HUGE difference), but they loved the chops and even ate the apples which surprised me as they are quite picky eaters. This is also why you’ll notice the sauce is on the side in the picture. I didn’t feel like fighting the dinner battle for the #897th time.

We had our caramel apple pork chops with a loaf of rosemary bread from a local bakery and perfectly tender broccoli with parmesan shavings.

Caramel Apple Pork Chops
Ingredients
4 (3/4 inch) thick pork chops (I had 7, so that’s what I made!)
2 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
2 TBSP butter
2 tart apples (peeled, cored and sliced)
3 tablespoons pecans (optional)
Directions
1. Heat a large skillet to medium high heat and add olive oil to pan. Add chops and cook about 3-5 minutes per side. Remove from pan to serving dish and keep warm.
2. Combine the brown sugar, salt, pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl.
3. Melt butter to skillet, and stir in the sugar and spice mixture and apples. Cover and cook until the apples are just tender.
4. Remove apples with a slotted spoon and place on chops. Keep warm.
5. Reduce the remaining sauce uncovered in skillet until thickened slightly.
6. Spoon sauce over apples and chops. Sprinkle with pecans.

The link from my friend | The original recipe

Happy eating!
~Karen

Pork roast on the rotisserie

Well, up here in Soviet Canuckistan, its finally time to bust out the grill. I’m feeling lazy and I have my trepidations like I do at the start of every grilling season, so I’m going easy to start.

I’ve picked up a pork roast from the local co-op. It’s currently marinading in the fridge. In a couple of hours, as I juggle a shoutcast and cooking, I’ll be impaling (yay impaling!) it upon the rotisserie, and letting it spin for a few hours.

Marinade:

I’m a big fan of using what I have to hand for a marinade. Every one, in my mind, should be different. This time its:

  • Coca-cola (regular plain old coke. It needs the sugar. Coke zero makes a lousy base)
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Seasoning Salt
  • Pepper
  • Mrs Dash seasoning
  • And a healthy addition of ground mustard.

Put it on the spit, light up the grill on indirect heat. Now, my grill has an indirect heat burner at the back of the grill. Not every grill has that. You can fake it though. Light one side of the grill, and push the pork roast on the rotissserie to the other side of the grill. Its not perfect, but I’ve made a right tasty meal or twelve that way on my old grill.

Now every grill is different, so its hard to say what temperature everything should be at. I crank the indirect heat to maximum for the first 15 minutes to start getting a bit of a crust on the roast, and then lower it to ~300 degrees. Some people go lower for longer.

The important part, no matter what, is the internal temperature of the meat. Digital BBQ temperature forks are cheap these days. Get one. Pork must be at least 160 degrees F internally to be done.

I recommend a drip pan under the meat. An old small cookie sheet will do the trick. Some people notice putting water in the drip tray helps keeps things moist, though I really haven’t noticed that much difference.

Of course, with indirect heat, its easy to lose said heat. Do not check the roast too often. Its ok. It doesn’t need your attention very often. This is lazy grilling. It will be just fine without you.

For the last half hour or so, I do try to put a bit of a glaze on the roast as it spins as well.

Glaze:

  • Maple syrup
  • Bourbon
  • Brown sugar to thicken it up a little bit.

As always, experiment with ratios. See what works best for you.

I really do recommend getting a BBQ mop for the glaze. Silicon basting brushes are wonderful things, but the mop seems to provide better coverage for such a thing. Plus, my inner seven year old is fascinated by the concept of mopping one’s food.

Due to it being on the rotisserie, its hard to say exactly how long it will take to complete, so I try to make sure my veggies aren’t done on the grill. I put a couple of baker spuds on the grill (sliced, given a bit of butter and some seasonings, and wrapped in foil) about an hour and a half to two hours before I think it will be done, and hope for the best. After all, the heat’s there, one may as well use it.

Serve with the veggie of your choice and enjoy!