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Pan-Seared Pork Chops, Spiced Butternut Squash and Fried Apples

Welcome the Autumn season into your home with this recipe for Pan-Seared Pork Chops, Spiced Butternut Squash and Fried Apples!

Ingredients

For the Spice Butternut Squash

  • 1 butternut squash – peeled and diced
  • 1 red onion – diced
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp kosher salt – plus more for finishing
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil

For the Pork Chops and Fried Apples

  • 4 pork chops – bone-in or boneless approximately 1” thick
  • 2 apples of choice – peeled and cut into slices
  • 2 cloves garlic – smashed but left in their skin
  • 4 whole sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup chicken stock
  • kosher salt and black pepper

Instructions

For the Spice Butternut Squash

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. In a large mixing bowl, add 2 tbsp avocado oil, paprika, cayenne, cinnamon and salt. Stir to combine. Add diced squash and onions to bowl and toss to coat. Transfer vegetables to a baking sheet or roasting pan lined with parchment paper. Roast approximately 30 minutes or until golden brown and fork-tender.

For the Pork Chops and Fried Apples

  1. Dry Brine: rinse pork chops with cold water and dry well with paper towel. Liberally season all sides with kosher salt and place on a wire rack set over a tray. Refrigerate, uncovered for 4-24hours.
  2. Preheat a large, cast-iron skillet over medium heat for at least 5 minutes. Then turn the heat to medium-high heat and add 2 tbsp avocado oil.
  3. Working in batches so as to not overcrowd the pan, carefully lay pork chops in the hot oil. Cook 3-4 minutes then flip and add ghee and thyme to the pan. CAUTION: the oil may splatter once you add the fresh thyme.
  4. Move the chops towards the back of the pan, place the thyme and garlic on top of each chop, then carefully tilt the pan towards you so that the oil starts to pool at the bottom. Use a large spoon to continuously baste the chops with the oil as they continue to cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the pork chops are cooked to desired doneness.
  5. Transfer cooked pork chops, thyme and garlic to a cutting board or wire rack and let rest 5-7 minutes before slicing against the grain.
  6. Reduce heat to medium and discard all but 1 tbsp of rendered fat in the pan. Add apples and toss to coat. Remove garlic from its skin and roughly chop before adding it to the pan with the apples. Add stock and vinegar and cook until reduced by half. Taste for seasoning and adjust salt and pepper as required. Set aside.
  7. To serve: arrange roasted squash on a large platter, top with sliced pork chops and fried apples. Garnish with sprigs of thyme and enjoy!
  8. *Optional: using a sharp knife, make a perpendicular incision every inch or so along the fat cap of each pork chop. This will prevent the meat from curling in the pan, and will achieve a more even browning along the surface of the meat.

Recipe Notes

Optional: using a sharp knife, make a perpendicular incision every inch or so along the fat cap of each pork chop. This will prevent the meat from curling in the pan, and will achieve a more even browning along the surface of the meat.