Patience apple pork chops
One of the things I love about Canada is the whole gamut of landscapes we have in one country. Living in Southern Ontario, there are deciduous trees that fan out their verdant leaves in the spring and give a dying show to remember, saving the best colours for last before the frost snips them short. Having visited the Yukon for literally an afternoon, I remember the stubble along the land and thinking that the dogs that ran across it must have felt like a hand brushing a man’s chin as he wakes. Can the brazen deciduous grow in the savage cold, up north? The answer is an obvious matter of survival of the fittest. But a part of me admires the boreal flora, low as it may lay. There’s a weathered resilience that doesn’t need a postcard to convince us of (unless you’re talking about Mark Prins, landscape photographer based in Whitehorse — read a great interview with him here).
The thing about resiliency is that long period of waiting. In our culture, immediacy and choice are what we’ve come to expect, even feel entitled to! Translated from Greek, the word patience in biblical text means long suffering. We wait and wait and it’s hard to endure not-having when you can get something comparable just as quickly. Just buy it, just microwave it, just throw it away, just get a new one. With all the immediate options, this gets us used to treating things as disposable, don’t you think?
Here is one recipe that asked me to be patient. After apple-picking with my family a couple weekends ago, I’m still going through the last of the apples and frankly have had my fill of apple pie until Christmas! How about something savory … apple pork chops! The thing I’ve learned with cooking fruit is that it requires medium heat, to coax out the sweetness and soften it through. If flash-fried on high heat, the apples would for a caramelized crust before softened inside. For the pork, I have to admit that my chops usually come out dry. But my heat was too high, and I didn’t think about other things I could add to keep the meat tender! This time I kept the pork on medium heat, flipping it over every so often and adding a bit of water when the pan was looking dry. The end result? Moist and succulent chops, paired well with the bright sweetness of simmered red onion and apple. Patience has its rewards! Oh, and a tip to make the long suffering a bit more bearable? Cook when you’re not hungry yet.
Apple pork chops recipe
- 2 pork chops or tenderloin for boneless option
- 1 red apple (Pink Lady, Cortland, Fuji, just not the tart kind!), sliced
- 1/2 large red onion, sliced
- salt and pepper
- Marinate the pork with salt, pepper, and sugar in equal proportions. Set aside for a few hours, or overnight is best.
- Heat oil in a pan, and fry the onions and apples on medium heat. Keep cooking until the flesh of apple looks softened. Remove from the pan.
- On medium heat, fry the pork. Once you see the bottom side cooked, flip it over, and season again with salt, sugar and pepper. Add some water and cover the pan to lock in the moisture. Keep checking that there is a bit of jus on the pan, and replenish with water, salt, sugar, pepper.
- Once the pork is almost done, cook the apples and onions in the pan together. Serve immediately with rice and green beans.