Every year on the first day of fall, I make a roast pork dinner. It is a family tradition. My grandmother always did it, my mom did it and now I do it too. As soon as I would walk in the door and smell my mom’s roast pork, I knew that fall was officially here. I still do a roast, but sometimes I like to do chops, especially if it is just my little family and not the whole gang. The key to a great pork chop? Brine! It results in the most tender and juicy pork. I swear by brining, and don’t just save it just for pork. I also brine roast chicken, too. Once you do it, you will be hooked.
Typically, you think of apples in pies, cobblers and sauces. But they are under-appreciated in savory dishes. They are exquisite alongside my beer brined pork chops. The apples break down, creating a slightly sweet and savory mash. This is one of my favorite dinners to celebrate fall. Throw some logs into the fire...it is time to get warm and cozy!
Add pork chops to a large plastic resealable bag. Whisk together water, brown sugar, salt, beer, peppercorns, thyme and rosemary. Pour the brine over the pork and refrigerate for 4 to 24 hours.
When ready to eat, start by making the apples. In a large bowl, combine apples, garlic, parsley, thyme, rosemary, salt, pepper and flour. Toss until well coated.
Spread the apples onto a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Drizzle with olive oil. Cook at 375° for 45 minutes to an hour.
Meanwhile, take your chops out of the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Do not rinse the chops, or you will wash off all of the glorious brine.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of oil and add the chops. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. (If the chops are thick, they will need more time.) Cook until a meat thermometer reaches 160°. Remove from the pan and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Remove the apples from the oven. They are ready when they are soft.
Serve apples alongside the pork chops.