Cider-Brined Pork Chops with Sweet Potatoes and Greens
This pork chop supper is delicious and nutritious – and Rach tries a new trick of wilting the greens right into the mashers! Heads up: you’ll need to brine the chops overnight.
- 2 cups warm stock
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 1 cup cloudy apple cider
- A few peppercorns
- A couple of bay leaves
- 4 bone-in pork chops (about 2 1/2 pounds total)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 large onions
- 1 Honeycrisp apple, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 rounded tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cider or wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup apple brandy, such as Calvados, or additional chicken stock
- 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 cup warm chicken stock
- 4 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
- Salt, pepper and nutmeg
- 4 cups baby kale, coarsely chopped
- For the brine, whisk together the warm stock and salt until dissolved in a large, plastic food-storage bag set in a large bowl for stability. Add in the cider, peppercorns, bay leaves and chops and brine overnight.
- Pre-heat the oven to 375°F.
- Heat a large, cast iron skillet over medium heat with a tablespoon of oil. Add the onions and cook to light caramel in color, 15 minutes. Add the apple and toss for 2-3 minutes to tender-crisp; remove from the pan and return the pan to stove. Add the remaining oil, two turns of the pan, and heat over medium-high heat. Pat the chops dry, then add to the pan and brown for 2-3 minutes on each side; brown the bone-in edge as well. Transfer the skillet to the oven to finish the cooking the chops through, 5-6 minutes. Douse the pan with a touch of stock or a little apple brandy.
- Meanwhile, cook the sweet potatoes in boiling salted water to tender. Drain and return to the hot pot. Add the stock and butter, then combine and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, to taste. Wilt in the greens with spatula.
- Top the chops with the onions and apples and a spoonful of pan juices. Serve the mashed sweet potatoes and greens alongside.
Cooking with alcohol enhances the flavors of certain dishes. Some of the alcohol burns off in the process of cooking. If you are concerned about using alcohol when you cook, you may use the appropriate substitute listed in the ingredients.