Apple Butter Braised Pork Chops

 Sally made apple butter this weekend, (see her blog: North Coast Muse) and we had a nice pork loin in the freezer, so I decided to see what I could do with available ingredients.   I thawed the loin and sliced off four chops about ¾” thick.  Seasoning the chops liberally with salt, fresh ground black pepper and powdered ancho chiles on both sides, I seared them in a large, hot skillet on the stovetop.  Meanwhile, I preheated the oven to 350 degrees F. 

When the chops were brown on both sides, I deglazed the pan with a cheap chardonnay wine (about 1 cup).  Then I added approximately 8 ounces of Sally’s homemade apple butter, spreading it thickly over the top of each chop. 

Pork chops in the skillet after the apple butter was added.

Pork chops in the skillet after the apple butter was added.

Keeping the heat at medium high, I brought the mixture to a boil, reduced heat to a simmer, and placed the lid on the skillet.  I simmered the mixture for about 15 minutes, checked the liquid level (add more wine here if it’s getting too low), and placed the skillet, covered, into the oven.

I left the skillet in the oven for about 45 minutes, checking only once to be sure the sauce wasn’t beginning to burn.  When the skillet comes out of the oven, it may be necessary to reduce the sauce somewhat, but I didn’t need to do so.  Here’s the finished product:
The pork chops are firm but tender, and the sauce is very tasty!

The pork chops are firm but tender, and the sauce is very tasty!

If you have more time you could reduce the oven temperature and braise it a while longer, but this first pass worked pretty well.  Give it a try and let me know what you think!

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