Thick Cut Seared Pork Chops with Local Apple & Dried Cherry Chutney
Now that Apple Season has arrived, I couldn’t think of a better pairing than a thick cut sautéed pork chop with apples. There’s nothing like homemade applesauce to compliment a pork chop but I wanted to take it to another level. Therefore…Chutney. Homemade chutney is like applesauce on steroids. You can combine some amazing flavors that accentuate the flavor of pork. Adding in ginger and red pepper give it some zest. The brandy adds some depth. The dried cherries add some extra tang. The cumin, orange zest, scallions and cinnamon bring it all together. There’s no sugar in this recipe. I was going for the deeper more savory flavors.
Actually apples are not native to India. Authentic Indian chutney is made with raw fruits. It was when Great Brittan colonized southern Asia that chutney became that savory cooked fruit condiment we are familiar with today.
I used Friske’s Orchard Heirloom Duchess Apple. Other great varieties would be Honeycrisp and Granny Smith. The amount of apples you need to purchase depends on the size of the apple. The Duchess Apple I used is quite small. So if you’re using a larger apple, you may not need a full 2 pounds.
Chutney is such a versatile condiment. It pairs beautifully with chicken, lamb, brats, cheese trays, and sandwiches. Once prepared the chutney is good for a week under refrigeration. You can also freeze the chutney
Pork today is much different from yester years. Today’s pork is much leaner, nutritious and great tasting. To get the peak of flavor from the pork we are now able to cook it to a lower temperature, maintaining its flavor and moisture. A little pink in the center is OK. This recipe uses sautéing as the cooking technique but you could also grill them. Oppose to using the traditional method of sautéing the pork for so many minutes on each side, I continue to flip the chop every minute. It makes the most amazing sear on the outside and is able to maintain the moistness on the inside. Leave the pork chops out for an hour to get them to room temperature. The pork will cook more evenly that way. Seeing there is so much flavor in the chutney, I only season the chop with pepper. Salt has a tendency to dry out pork so it is finished at the end with salt.