Good Morning! Happy Fat Tuesday! While it is the last day of Mardi Gras, it also means tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten Season. Lent ends with Easter, which will be another whole celebration of food! During Lent we will definitely be cooking a lot of fish. But today, before we begin the sacrifices of Lent, we get to eat. Fat Tuesday!
When I was growing up, my mother cooked pork chops in Shake n Bake and served with applesauce. To this day I still like that meal. It’s quick and easy, and I love dipping the juicy bites of pork in sweet applesauce.
Imagine my surprise when I learned from my Southern husband he had never had applesauce with pork chops. Imagine his surprise that he liked it!
I, on the other hand, had never eaten fried apples. I think they are amazing, and delicious accompanying pork and other meats.
Well, there had to be recipes out there pairing apples and pork. I found several, but nothing that really grabbed me. So I experimented and what I came up with is sweet, savory, and perfect served over a bed of rice pilaf.
So, we start by preheating the oven to 350 F. Then, spray a deep 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray. Then, core 2 sweet apples (honey crisp are my favorite apples; pink lady are good also) and cut into 8 wedges each. Peel a sweet onion and cut into thin wedges. Peel 2 – 3 carrots and cut in chunks. Arrange apples and vegetables in prepared pan. Sprinkle with 1t cinnamon and 1/4C brown sugar, and set aside.
Melt 3T butter in a skillet over medium heat. Season 4 boneless loin pork chops with kosher salt and pepper. Brown well on both sides in butter. Move to baking dish, on top of apples and veggies. Pour 1/2C white wine (or apple juice) into hot skillet. Stir well, scraping browned bits off bottom. Pour liquid over meat, apples, and vegetables in baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and slide into preheated oven. Bake for 35 – 45 minutes until done. (Internal temp 145 F in thickest part of meat.)
This is a delicious meal! I serve it over a bed of Near East brand rice pilaf, my favorite for years. Perfect for Fat Tuesday, before fasting and giving up meats and sweets starts tomorrow.
I hope you enjoy Baked Pork Chops with Apples, Onions, and Carrots as much as my family does. Pork and Apples just belong together like…. well, like peas and carrots!