Roasted Pork Chops with Apples & Lentils

By • September 29, 2016 2 Comments

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Author Notes: In this recipe, the pork chops are seared and basted before they’re baked: While that’s the type of chef technique I usually try to get rid of when cooking at home, I do find that slightly frying herbs and garlic in hot cooking fat as they rest on top of the chops really does infuse the meat with flavor.

And mustard and cream are added to the lentils while they cook to sharpen and sweeten their flavor: The mustard provides a slight piquancy and the cream, cooked away to the point where you can’t even see it, gives a full richness to these somewhat earthy legumes.

Some tips to help you along the way:
- If you don’t have thyme, I would suggest rosemary or sage in its place.
- Any apple variety will work, but if I can, I like to do this with a nice crisp apple such as a Macoun or Pippin.
- If you are pressed for time in making this, the lentils can easily be made the day before and simply reheated while cooking the pork chops.
Sara Jenkins


Serves 4

For the pork chops:

  • Four 8- to 10-ounce pork chops, 1 1/2 inches thick
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 clove garlic
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 large apples, cored and halved
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup water
  1. Preheat oven to 300° F. Score the fat on the edge of the pork chops in two or three places and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add two pork chops and sear until brown on each side, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Place 1 clove of garlic and 1 sprig of thyme on top of each pork chop and add 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan. Using a large spoon, baste the chops with the melted fat to aromatize the thyme and garlic (this is a bit cheffy but I promise the results are worth it). Transfer the pork chops to an ovenproof dish and repeat with the other two.
  2. When the chops are all seared, transfer to the oven and cook to medium, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, drain the fat out of the pan, add another tablespoon of butter and place the apples into the pan, cut side down. Cook over high heat until the apples are browned, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and a little water and a pinch of salt and boil the liquid over high heat until reduced and thick. Remove chops from the oven and discard the garlic and thyme.
  4. Place a half apple on each pork chop, swirl the final tablespoon of butter into the sauce and pour all over the pork chops and roasted apples. Serve these with lentils, below.

For the lentils:

  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups small Italian or French lentils
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard (honestly any mustard will do, I just like whole grain)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  1. Process the carrots, celery, onion and garlic in the food processor until finely chopped/puréed.
  2. In a heavy-bottomed pot, sauté the vegetables in the olive oil with a pinch of salt. Add the water and the lentils and bring to a boil. Cook until lentils are almost done, about half an hour.
  3. Add the mustard and the heavy cream and cook until lentils are done, liquid is somewhat reduced and just binding the lentils, and the cream has mostly vanished. Taste and season.

More Great Recipes: Pork Chops|Lentils|Entrees|Olive Oil

Topics: Weeknight Cooking, Entertaining, Dinner, Faster, Weekend Cooking, Meat