Apple cider pork chops make a great weeknight supper because they’re ready in 30 minutes and come together in one pan for easy clean-up.
Even though the technique here is simple (caramelization), the sauce really brings the flavors together. After building fond in the pan from browning the pork, apple cider is used to mop up all that flavor into one sweet and tangy reduction.
A reduction is simply a liquid that is simmered until it reduces and thickens. What you get is a stickier, more concentrated glaze complete with fresh garlic and rosemary.
Ingredient Tip: This is a terrific Fall dish because it’s a great way to use some of that high quality apple cider. I like the unfiltered or mulled apple cider. You’ll need about 2 cups for this recipe.
What’s really important to maximize the flavor of this one pan recipe is to allow plenty of time for caramelization in the first step, where the pork gets browned on each side.
How to Brown the Pork Chops
Melted butter and a hot pan will help the pork chops get a good sear. Be sure to leave them in the pan for 6 to 8 minutes per side. You don’t want to turn them too much or they won’t develop that brown crust.
How to Make a Thick and Shiny Apple Cider Glaze
Once the pork is really browned, you need to sauté the garlic first; this happens very quickly (about 30 seconds). You can lower the heat to avoid burning the garlic, if needed.
Add the Dijon and apple cider and raise the heat. Simmer for several minutes or until the apple cider has thickened. It becomes stickier as it thickens. If it looks watery, keep going.
Once the apple cider glaze has thickened, it’s time to add the minced rosemary. Swirl it around and then coat the pork chops in the sauce and serve.
These pork chops would be delicious with a simple vegetable side like these herb infused mashed potatoes or this roasted broccoli. You could even serve them with some roasted brussels sprouts.
Which pork chops should I buy?
Look for boneless (bone-in works, too) pork sirloin chops about 1-inch thick. If the portions are large, you can cut each sirloin in half; you need about 6 chops at 5 ounces each.
Can I use thinner pork chops?
You can use thinner pork chops, but I don’t recommend it for this recipe. You need to caramelize the exterior of the chops, and the thin pork chops are prone to dryness if over-cooked. If using thin pork chops, be sure to decrease the time in the recipe for browning each side.
What’s the safe temperature for pork?
APPLE CIDER AND DIJON-GLAZED PORK CHOPS
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 pounds boneless pork sirloin chops cut in half to form 6 (5.3-oz portions)
- 2 ¼ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups apple cider
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 rosemary sprig leaves removed and minced
- Season and sear the pork. In a large pan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Season the pork chops all over with the salt and pepper, then add to the pot. Fry for 6 to 8 minutes per side, until browned, turning with tongs. Transfer the pork to a plate.
- Make the sauce. Decrease to medium-low heat and add the garlic to the pan. Saute, stirring for 30 seconds. Stir in the vinegar, scraping along the bottom to release any browned bits, then add the cider and Dijon. Increase the heat to medium-high. Stir and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the sauce reduces and thickens.
- Braise the pork. Add the rosemary to the glaze and return the pork chops to the sauce, turning to coat. Reheat the pork chops for 1 minute, then serve with the sauce. Refrigerate leftovers for up to 4 days.
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