Cider Braised Pork Chops with Fennel, Porcini & Thyme

Recipe & Photography by Julia Gartland

This article appears in the Winter 2014/2015 issue of Eidé Magazine

INGREDIENTS
2 THICK, BONE-IN PORK CHOPS
3 TABLESPOONS OLIVE OIL, DIVIDED
5 SMALL SHALLOTS, WHOLE OR HALVED
2 - 4 GARLIC CLOVES, WHOLE
1 SMALL FENNEL HEAD, QUARTERED
2 LADY APPLES, HALVED
22-OUNCE BOTTLE HARD CIDER
1 OUNCE PORCINI MUSHROOMS, DRIED
7 - 8 FRESH THYME STEMS 

DIRECTIONS
SEASON PORK CHOPS ON BOTH SIDES. HEAT A LARGE CAST IRON SKILLET (10 - 12 INCH) OVER MEDIUM-HIGH HEAT. ONCE PAN IS HOT, ADD 2 TABLESPOONS OLIVE OIL, THEN SEAR PORK CHOPS FOR ABOUT 3 - 4 MINUTES ON EACH SIDE. TRANSFER PORK CHOPS TO A PLATE TO REST.

USING THE JUICES LEFT IN THE PAN AND ANOTHER TABLESPOON OF OLIVE OIL, USE A WOODEN SPOON TO LOOSEN THE BROWNED BITS STUCK TO THE PAN. OVER MEDIUM-HIGH HEAT, SEAR SHALLOTS, FENNEL, APPLES AND GARLIC, MIXING OFTEN TO PREVENT BURNING.

ONCE EVERYTHING IS BROWNED (ABOUT 5 - 7 MINUTES), ADD A BOTTLE OF CIDER (SOMETHING BRIGHT, BUT NOT TOO SWEET), THYME STEMS AND PORCINI MUSHROOMS. BRING TO A BOIL FOR 5 - 7 MINUTES OR UNTIL MIXTURE HAS REDUCED BY ABOUT HALF. ADD PORK CHOPS BACK TO THE PAN, MAKING SURE TO INCLUDE ANY LEFTOVER JUICES, AND COOK FOR AN ADDITIONAL 5 - 6 MINUTES OR UNTIL INTERNAL TEMPERATURE IS 145 F. ENJOY!