Thursday, February 7, 2013

Valentine's Dinner for Two: Brown Butter Pork Chops with Apples and Onions

Valentine's Day is one week away and I am SO excited to share this post. Reasons why:
Number one. I LOVE Valentine's Day. It's fun. There are hearts and flowers and love all around. In a perfect world we would all exchange little valentines at work like we did when we were kids in class. Nobody would be grumpy about Valentine's Day because how can you honestly hate on love? In this perfect world of mine, everything may or may not be covered in gold and pink glitter.
Reason number two. These Brown Butter Pork Chops are heaven. Perfect for a nice Valentine's dinner for two at home. These chops are so good that I've made them three times already, and up until about two weeks ago, I thought I hated, no not hated, loathed pork chops. I'm very glad I decided to give them another go. 

Valentine's Dinner for Two

And that I decided to finish them in brown butter and top them with caramelized apples and onions. Oh momma, these decadent babies are perfect for Valentine's Day. They are rich and dreamy with a depth of flavor that you wouldn't think pork chops would have, or at lease I didn't think they could have. Plus, they have a bone in them so that automatically makes them "man food". And there is nothing better than putting some man food on your man's plate for Valentine's Day. Unless you put man food on your man's plate while wearing lingerie. That could be better.

brown butter pork chop

Oh, and if you are taking the above suggestion, I would advise not wearing the lingerie until after the cooking is finished. I don't want to be held responsible for grease stains or burns.

cast iron skillet

And if I haven't convinced you yet to make these pork chops for Valentine's Day... then what is wrong with you?! I used the words "decadent", "rich", and "dreamy"(!!!) to describe them! And there is butter involved. Hellloooo. I shouldn't have to convince you any further. But if I do, maybe you share my obsession with cooking in a cast iron skillet, and then you'll be happy to know that the cast iron skillet is key to making this meal. See that ther' golden brown sear on them chops? Yeah, that's the cast iron skillet doing its work, baybay. (Apparently, cooking chops makes me talk in some kind of honky tonk type accent.)

brown butter pork chops

 But seriously. Make these. Lingerie and honky tonk talk is optional. Cast iron skillet is not.

Brown Butter Pork Chops with Apples and Onions
Serves 2
adapted from Bon App├ętit

2 Bone in Frenched Center Cut Pork Chops (I got mine from Trader Joe's and they were about 1 1/4 inch thick and the two of them totaled 1 pound)
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
1 apple, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/2 a brown onion cut into thin slices
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter (I prefer Kerrygold Irish Butter - the butter is the star here so use quality stuff)
1 - 2 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
2 cloves garlic, skins removed and smashed

Take pork chops out of fridge. Pre-heat oven to 425. Prepare onions and apples. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once skillet is warmed up add the olive oil. Season pork chops liberally with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper on both sides.

Once oil is nice and hot, shimmering but not smoking, carefully add pork chops. Let brown for 2 - 3 minutes without moving. After the 2-3 minutes, flip chops. Nestle apples, onions, and the 2 cloves of garlic among the pork chops. Brown for 2 -3 minutes and then flip again. Brown for another 2-3 minutes and flip again. You are looking to get a nice brown crust on your chops. Toss apples and onions occasionally. Go for one more round of flipping the chops if you don't have enough color on them after 2 rounds of flipping.

After a nice brown color is achieved, place skillet in the pre-heated oven. Now here is where the timing gets tricky. You don't want to dry out your pork chop but you want to make sure to cook it properly. The time it spends in the oven depends on how many times you flipped your chops on the stove and the thickness of the pork chops. After flipping 3 times on both sides my 1 1/4 inch pork chops spent about 7 minutes in the oven. But the time could vary from 5 to 14 minutes depending on the aforementioned factors. You can use a meat thermometer if you like, and take the chops out once it reaches 135 degrees. (It will continue to cook in the brown butter and resting stages). 

Remove skillet from oven and place on medium heat on the stove. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan. Add the thyme leaves. Cook until butter is foamy, carefully tip the skillet and swirl the butter around to coat the onions and apples. Toss onions and apples. Flip the pork chop to ensure both sides are coated with butter. Cook for 2 -3 minutes until butter is brown and smells nutty. Flip pork chops one more time. Remove pork chops and place on a wire rack over paper towels to rest. Rest chops for 5 minutes.

Discard the smashed garlic. Serve with plenty of apples and onions on top. Watch your honey swoon. 

Are you eyeing what's in those little red ramekins? You should be! This meal wouldn't be complete with out a sweep-your-man-off-his-feet-side-dish. Check out my recipe for Individual Scalloped Sweet Potatoes.


  1. Oh yum! this looks amazing... I will def give these a go :)

  2. OMG this looks so yummy! I want to try these, but probably not for Valentine's Day. Since I cook every night the 14th will be a day of rest for me :) Oh, and I LOVE your blog header! Who did it?



    Southern (California) Belle

    1. Super cute! I had a friend design mine, she was amazing! If you ever want her contact info just shoot me an email :)

  3. I thought it was amazing!-Adam

  4. What mouth-watering chops! Love the apple/onions on top - they are perfect with pork chops! And your header is adorable!

  5. Ok, you are seriously tempting me to make these up. These must have been the ones you saw in Bon Appetit, right? I rarely make pork chops and I don't know why, as everyone in my house loves them. I think I will have to just give these a go one night. I also love that you served this man sized dinner with some kale salad! I saw the instagram photo. Have a great Sunday girl! xoxo, Jackie

    1. BTW, is it me or did you get a new header? If so, I love it. I love the dog coin.

  6. Yes! These are from Bon Appetit! But I made some changes and added the apples and onions which make the dish in my opinion! And yes new header! Gina from So... Let's Hang Out made it!

  7. Seriously, this recipe sounds amazing, so I wanted to print it. But your "printable" link doesn't work... I get the message that I don't have enough rights.

    1. Thank you! I'm glad you like the recipe! And thank you so much for bringing the print issue to my attention! It is now fixed!

  8. Just to let you know, olive oil burns in cast iron try canola oil! I will try again with some major adjustments.

  9. Olive oil in the cast iron gives it the browning crispy part of the pork chop.


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