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Author Notes: After weeks of 80° weather, it's finally starting to feel like fall in NYC. The moment it starts to get cold I crave two things: red wine and these pork chops. They're so juicy and the perfect ratio of sweet to savory. The kale makes for a healthy addition – it's packed with so many nutrients and takes barely any extra effort to make. Everything gets topped with an amazing cider and sage pan sauce along with a few apple slices for color and crunch. —Look Cook
- 2 boneless pork chops – 1" thick
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon sage – minced
- 1 1/4 cups apple cider, divided
- 3 tablespoons shallots – minced
- 1 large bunch of kale
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup apple slices – halved
- Preheat your oven to 400°F. Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels, then evenly sprinkle each side with 1/4 tsp of kosher salt, a few turns of pepper, and sprinkle 1/4 tsp of sugar on one side. Now's a good time to prep the rest of your ingredients as well. Chop the sage, shallots, and apple, then wash your kale. Remove the stems by running your fingers down the spine, then roughly chop it up.
- Grab a cast iron skillet and let it heat up on medium high. Add 1 tbsp of vegetable oil, then both pork chops sugar side down. Sear for 4-5 minutes until deeply browned, then flip them over and pop the skillet in the oven for another 4-5 minutes. The pork chops will be done when they reach about 140°F – it's ok if they're a little pink! Well done pork chops = dry pork chops.
- Remove the pork from the skillet, then set the heat to medium high. Add the minced sage and stir for about 30 seconds or so, then pour in 3/4 cups of cider along with any juices from the pork you set aside. Cook until the liquid has reduced to 1/2 the size, about 5-7 minutes.
- While the sauce is doing its thing, make the kale. In a medium saucepan, add the remaining 1 tbsp of vegetable oil and let it heat up on medium high. Throw in the shallots, then add the kale and remaining 1/2 cup of cider. It's going to look like a mountain at first, but it will shrink down! Cover for 3-4 minutes until wilted, then stir in 1/4 tsp of kosher salt.
- Once the sauce has reduced, turn the heat down to low and stir in the butter along with the remaining 3/4 tsp of kosher salt. Add the pork chops and kale to warm them up and coat with the sauce, then slice the pork (totally optional, but looks pretty). Divide everything onto 2 plates, pour the remaining sauce on top, and garnish with the sliced apples.