Apple Pork Chops

Timeless and savory-sweet, the combination of pork and apples tastes just like fall. To intensify the flavors—and edge out the chill in the air—I add a splash of warming bourbon.

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

4 (8-ounce) bone-in pork chops, about 1-inch thick (about 2 pounds)

2 teaspoons sea salt, divided

Freshly ground black pepper

2 fresh thyme leaves, divided

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 shallot, minced (1 to 2 tablespoons)

1 tart apple, such as Granny Smith, Braeburn or Pippin, peeled, cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick

1/2 cup applesauce

1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

Instructions

1. Rinse pork chops, pat dry and sprinkle both sides with 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon thyme, pressing lightly so seasonings adhere.

2. Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat until sizzling hot. Add meat and cook 5 to 6 minutes per side, turning only once, to brown. Transfer to a platter and cover loosely to keep warm.

3. Add butter to pan and heat until foamy. Add shallot and thyme and cook, stirring, until tender, about 3 minutes.Add apple, applesauce, broth and ½ teaspoon salt and pepper to skillet scraping up browned bits. Cook, stirring, until apple is tender and sauce reduces slightly, 3 to 4 minutes.

4. Return meat, along with any juices that have collected at the bottom of the plate, to pan and cook just until thoroughly heated, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a platter or individual plates and serve warm with sauce and apples spooned over the chops.

Recipe by Sara Foster, author of Sara Foster’s Southern Kitchen.