It’s Wednesday night. You don’t have a dinner idea. What can you do?
Pork chops to the rescue!
There may be nothing more classic than pork chops served with applesauce, but you can still get the same effect by cooking up apples along with your pork chops. When you add bacon into the mix you increase the savoriness of the meal while creating a nice contrast with the sweetness of the apple.
Everyone has their own idea of what it means to make pork chops. Growing up, my mom didn’t really think of herself as a gourmet chef by any means. Her version of pork chops was tossing them in Shake ‘n Bake and serving them up with a side of store bought applesauce. To us that’s just what pork chops were, and that became the norm.
But with Paleo it’s all about taking simple, rustic dishes like ordinary old pork chops and turning them into something extraordinary. You break down each of the ingredients and figure out how to make it healthy, while at the same time providing massive flavor.
Of course, the Shake ‘n Bake had to go, as it’s mostly breadcrumbs, so it was a matter of getting that nice outer coating without adding any grains of any kind. That’s where we apply the “Sear ‘n Bake” technique.
The trick to getting these pork chops just right is to sear them in a pan before putting them in the oven. That way you get a nice outer browning and then let the oven do the rest of the work. Just baking the pork chops alone doesn’t produce the same results, so it’s an important step you don’t want to skip.
Store bought applesauce is loaded with sugar most of the time, and if you go with unsweetened applesauce you’re still left wondering what kind of apples were used to make it. When you use whole organic apples you don’t have to wonder what’s in it, and the flavor is amazing when baked along with the pork.
The reason I really love this dish is because you’re getting a complete meal that’s done all at once. Using apples instead of applesauce seems to make the meal more filling, and rounds things out nicely with the onions and pork chops.
Bacon is a Paleo treat that you should take advantage of. Just a few strips added to these pork chops is all you need to take the flavor to the next level and make everyone happy. You haven’t had pork chops till you’ve had a little bacon with them.
I hope your family enjoys these as much as mine does!
- 4 (4-ounce) boneless pork chops
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp salt, divided
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper,
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 medium onion, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
- 2 medium apples, peeled, cored and cut into 8 wedges
- 4 ounces sliced bacon, cut into bite size pieces
- Preheat oven to 425°.
- Pound the chops lightly with a meat mallet. Sprinkle the chops with half of salt and half of black pepper.
- In a large cast iron pan heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over high heat. Add the pork to pan and cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove the pan from the heat and remove the pork from the pan.
- In the pan add the remaining olive oil, apple and onion wedges and bacon. Sprinkle with thyme and remaining salt and black pepper and toss to coat. Put in the oven and bake for 25 minutes then arrange the pork chops over apples and onion and bake for 10 minutes more. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with fresh ground black pepper and serve with your favorite salad.