Here’s an easy and deliciously sweet winter dinner…the roasted apples and sweet potato perfectly compliment juicy pork. You will need about an hour to roast the apples, so start them first. The sweet potato can go into the oven to roast at the same time. Then season the chops and let them rest until about 15 minutes before the apples and potato are done. It’s simple! The only trick is to be sure not to overcook the chops and make them dry instead of meltingly juicy, so don’t be tempted to stray from the instructions below…
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 boneless pork chops (or 4 if you want leftovers), about 1 1/2 inches thick. I’ve had good luck with Safeway and with Costco boneless loin chops. You may have to buy more than 2 or 4 in a package. They freeze well and are great to have on hand for future dinners.
- olive oil
- salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano (optional)
- 3 good medium or large apples, can be a combination of green and red, quartered, cored and peeled
- walnut halves (optional)
- brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon
- 1 large or 2 medium red/orange sweet potato (often called yams, my favorite is garnet yam)
Here’s what you do:
Turn the oven on to 375 degrees to preheat.
Melt a tablespoon of butter in a medium baking dish.
Cut the apples in quarters. Cut the core out with a paring knife, and peel each quarter. Put the apple pieces in the baking dish as you peel them. Toss the apples in the melted butter with a large spoon. Scatter the walnut halves over the apple pieces, if you are using them.
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon white sugar and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon evenly over the apples. Add another tablespoon of butter, broken up and scattered over all.
Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Put in the oven to roast for 1 hour.
Wash the sweet potato(es), and prick it on all sides with the tip of a knife. Put it into a baking dish (I use a metal pie plate) and slide it into the oven to roast with the apples. If you are using 1 large potato, it will take almost an hour to roast. If you are using 2 medium ones, wait 10 minutes or so before putting them into the oven with the apples, so they will be done at the same time.
Place the boneless pork chops on a plate and season them with salt, pepper, garlic powder and a sprinkling of dried oregano. Cover them with cling film and let them marinate until you’re ready to cook them.
When the apples and sweet potato have 15 minutes left to bake, heat a medium-sized heavy frying pan and add a tablespoon of olive oil. When the oil is hot, put the chops in seasoned-side down. Season the up side with salt and pepper.
Saute the chops for 5 minutes on medium-high heat, then turn them.
Saute the chops on the second side for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat.
Remove the chops from the pan and put them on a cutting board. Let them rest for 10 minutes. This is a very important step that finishes the cooking and redistributes the juices in the pork.
Meanwhile take the apples and potato(es) out of the oven and turn the oven off. Take the foil off the apples so they can cool a bit.
When the chops have rested 10 minutes, slice them crosswise into 1/2 inch slices. If you used 1 large sweet potato, cut it in half crosswise.
Arrange several slices of pork nestled in the roasted apples with the sweet potato next to it on each serving plate…beautiful and delicious! Buon appetito!