Life is uncertain. Eat Dessert first.

APPLE WEEK! – Thursday: Pork Chops with Cider, Apple Sauce, Caramelised Apples and Mustard Mash

I’ve adjusted Lorraine Pascale’s recipe from Baking Made Easy for this savoury use of apples, changing one piece of pork for a couple of pork chops, and substituting dry cider for Calvados. The rosemary gives a great depth of flavour to each element of this dish. These quantities will serve dinner for two.

Get started with the mashed potatoes. Preheat the oven to 220degC. Prick 3 or 4 (depending on size) potatoes all over and wrap each one in foil. Bake for an hour, or until a knife inserted into the centre glides through easily with no resistance.

To make the apple sauce, melt 15g butter in a small saucepan and add about 4-5 medium sized peeled and roughly chopped garden apples. Add 1tbsp light brown sugar and a sprig of rosemary. Put a lid on the pan and cook for 5-10 minutes over a low heat. Then squeeze in the juice of half a lemon, turn up the heat and boil until the liquid thickens. Whizz this mixture up in a blender, then squash it through a sieve back into the saucepan, and set aside.

Heat a knob of butter and 2 tblsp olive oil in a large frying pan over a moderate-high heat. Season 2 chops with salt and vinegar. Add the chops to the oil, brown on one side then turn over and brown on the other side. Add 2 large onions (peeled and roughly chopped) and a sprig of rosemary. Lower the heat and continue to cook, turning the chops once, until they are no longer pink when cut into. Remove the chops to the a warm plate, cover, and leave them to rest.

Pour 250ml dry cider into the pan, turn up the heat, and reduce by half.

While the cider gravy is simmering, make the caramelised apples. Melt 20g butter in a small pan and add 4 medium sized peeled and quartered apples, a sprig of rosemary and a tbsp of soft brown sugar. Cook gently until the apples begin to caramelise and go soft. Set aside and keep warm.

Once the cider has reduced, add 300ml chicken stock and reduce by half again.

Remove the potatoes from the oven and slice in half, then scoop out the insides into a saucepan and add 75g butter. Mix well obver a low heat, then season with salt and pepper and add 2 heaped tsp of wholegrain mustard (or more to taste). You can also add some English mustard to get some heat into the mash.

Heat the sauce gently. Strain the gravy through a sieve. Serve the chops with the caramelised apples, apple sauce, cider gravy and mustard mash.

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