Entrees

Pork Chops with Apples and Chestnut Sauce

Karen Cassady / September 7, 2016

In this dish, the rich, deep flavors of the chestnut puree and the bright, spicy notes of the ichimi togarushi complement the classic combination of apples and pork.

The secret of success with these chops is the searing they get on a cast iron griddle. If you don't have access to ichimi togarushi, don't worry, you can substitute freshly ground red pepper flakes instead. 

Pork Chops with Apples and Chestnut Sauce cooked in a cast iron skillet.

Prep Time

25 minutes

Cook Time

25 minutes

Servings

2

Ingredients

  • 2 slices apple-smoked bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
  • 1 medium Rome apple, peeled, cored, and chopped medium fine
  • 2 bone-in center-cut pork chops (about 1 inch thick) 
  • Fine sea salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon)
  • Ichimi togarushi (red pepper) to taste (about 1/4 teaspoon; see Kitchen Note)
  • 3 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons canned chestnut puree
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon chestnut honey or other full-flavored honey
Pork Chops with Apples and Chestnut Sauce cooked in a cast iron skillet.

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 
  2. Heat a 10.5 inch cast iron griddle over medium heat until the pan is hot. Add the bacon; cook, stirring occasionally, until it has rendered some fat and begins to crisp. Add the shallot and apple and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apple begins to soften, about 3 minutes. 
  3. While the apples cook, dust the chops with the sea salt, red pepper, and half the sage.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the apple mixture to a heatproof bowl, leaving as much liquid behind on the griddle as possible (there won’t be much). Toss the remaining sage with the mixture in the bowl.
  5. Over medium heat, sear the chops on the griddle in the liquid until browned, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Return the apple mixture to the griddle, surrounding the chops with it. Place the griddle in the oven and bake until the chops register 160 when an instant-read thermometer is inserted at the thickest point.
  6. While the chops are in the oven, place the chestnut puree, 2 tablespoons of the cream, and the honey in a small bowl. Using a fork, mix to combine thoroughly.
  7. When the chops are ready, remove the griddle from the oven and transfer the chops and apple mixture to a tray. Place the griddle over medium heat and scrape up any browned bits from the surface. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons cream and stir with a whisk to incorporate the pan scrapings into the cream. Add the chestnut mixture and, stirring quickly, incorporate the cream with the pan scrapings into that mixture. This will form a thin sauce.
  8. Pour a pool of the sauce on two warm dinner plates. Arrange the chops on the sauce and top with the apple mixture. Enjoy!

    Kitchen Note: Ichimi togarushi is a Japanese powdered red pepper available in specialty grocery stores and Asian markets. You can substitute freshly ground red pepper flakes.
Karen Cassady

Contributed By

Karen Cassady

Karen Cassady is the coordinator of the Central Market Cooking Schools in Texas. 

Pork Chops with Apples and Chestnut Sauce

By Karen Cassady

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 2 slices apple-smoked bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
  • 1 medium Rome apple, peeled, cored, and chopped medium fine
  • 2 bone-in center-cut pork chops (about 1 inch thick) 
  • Fine sea salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon)
  • Ichimi togarushi (red pepper) to taste (about 1/4 teaspoon; see Kitchen Note)
  • 3 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons canned chestnut puree
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon chestnut honey or other full-flavored honey
Pork Chops with Apples and Chestnut Sauce

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 
  2. Heat a 10.5 inch cast iron griddle over medium heat until the pan is hot. Add the bacon; cook, stirring occasionally, until it has rendered some fat and begins to crisp. Add the shallot and apple and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apple begins to soften, about 3 minutes. 
  3. While the apples cook, dust the chops with the sea salt, red pepper, and half the sage.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the apple mixture to a heatproof bowl, leaving as much liquid behind on the griddle as possible (there won’t be much). Toss the remaining sage with the mixture in the bowl.
  5. Over medium heat, sear the chops on the griddle in the liquid until browned, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Return the apple mixture to the griddle, surrounding the chops with it. Place the griddle in the oven and bake until the chops register 160 when an instant-read thermometer is inserted at the thickest point.
  6. While the chops are in the oven, place the chestnut puree, 2 tablespoons of the cream, and the honey in a small bowl. Using a fork, mix to combine thoroughly.
  7. When the chops are ready, remove the griddle from the oven and transfer the chops and apple mixture to a tray. Place the griddle over medium heat and scrape up any browned bits from the surface. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons cream and stir with a whisk to incorporate the pan scrapings into the cream. Add the chestnut mixture and, stirring quickly, incorporate the cream with the pan scrapings into that mixture. This will form a thin sauce.
  8. Pour a pool of the sauce on two warm dinner plates. Arrange the chops on the sauce and top with the apple mixture. Enjoy!

    Kitchen Note: Ichimi togarushi is a Japanese powdered red pepper available in specialty grocery stores and Asian markets. You can substitute freshly ground red pepper flakes.

Recipe by Karen Cassady for Lodge Cast Iron at http://www.lodgemfg.com/recipe/center-cut-bone-in-pork-chops-with-apples-and-chestnut-sauce