This recipe is a great way to enhance an American classic and add an interesting and delicious touch to pork chops and applesauce! The apples are combined with fennel and celery to give this applesauce just enough of a different (and pretty amazing) quality without turning it into something that isn’t “applesauce.” We know you are going to love this elevated version of Elevated Pork Chops and Fennel Applesauce!
Homemade Fennel Applesauce
Applesauce always seems like a childhood favorite that doesn’t make its way into the adult world, unless of course you have small children. But why should the kids have all the fun??? This version with fennel and celery takes applesauce to an elevated flavor profile that is perfect alone or paired with pork chops like in this recipe.
Fennel and celery pair so well with apples, and both veggies have underrated flavor profiles. We like using sweet apples with just a bit of additional added sugar to maintain the traditional sweetness of applesauce. But this version is still a perfect pairing with a savory pork chop.
Why brine the pork chops??
For the pork chops, there are two key steps in this recipe: brining and cooking. You may have wondered why brining matters in a recipe, especially because it adds additional time to the prep.
The brining will keep your pork juicy when cooked and is a well-known trick to making sure proteins that are prone to drying out don’t!
Depending on the cooking method, pork, turkey, and chicken are great brining candidates.
How long do I brine the pork chops?
This can be easily accomplished the night before you plan to cook this recipe and refrigerated overnight until you are ready to cook. You can also do this in the morning before you head off to work, but the pork chops need at least 6 hours in the brining liquid. An overnight brine will give you the best results.
Breading and Cooking the Pork Chops
The other important step is the breading. Anytime you bread pork chops, you need to be careful that the breading doesn’t shed off the meat. This version is quite delicate due to the mustard rub, but if you’re gentle, it will work well, and the flavor will have your eyes open as wide as saucers!
The cook on the pork is important, and the only way to ensure the perfect doneness is with a thermometer. Your oven and pork thickness will vary, so there is not a magic “time” they should stay in the oven. Furthermore, the crusting and quick fry beforehand will shorten the baking time by a couple of minutes. We recommend checking the temp on the pork chops around 13 minutes in the oven, and generally these will take 15-20 minutes to reach an internal temp of 143°F (then let the chops rest for a few minutes and you are at perfection!).
What Sides to Serve with Pork Chops
You can serve the pork chops on top of the applesauce, next to it or under it, as the applesauce is essentially the “sauce” of the dish. Of course, a vegetable or mashed potatoes will always work well here too! Check out our recipes for Parmesan Peppercorn Mashed Potatoes, Garlic Thyme Smashed Potatoes, or Parmesan Herb Asparagus with Prosciutto and Pine Nuts for some ideas.
We hope you enjoy this recipe for Elevated Pork Chops with Fennel Applesauce! If you give it a try, leave us a comment below or tag us on Instagram @cooking_with_wine!
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