Cider Braised Pork Chops with Agrodolce, Rice, and Roasted Vegetables
Thick cut smoky braised pork chops coated in a sweet and spicy apple cider glaze, served over wild rice and topped with agrodolce, a sweet and sour Italian condiment that adds a shock of flavor to everything it touches.
Braising is one of my favorite ways to cook pork chops.
Coat the chops with a spice rub and sear briefly in a hot pan to brown. Then, simply place them in a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan, pour in some apple cider and put them in the oven to roast. When the chops are nearly done, remove them from the oven, cover and let rest while you boil down the pan juices into a thick syrupy glaze.
While the chops are in the oven, get some wild rice cooking and make the agrodolce. You'll want to cook about 1 cup of dry rice for 4 servings. (If you're making this as a part of Spring Meal Plan #1, cook 3 cups of dry rice. You'll be using the leftover rice in two other meals this week.)
Agrodolce is a sweet and sour Italian condiment that adds a shock of flavor to everything it touches. These braised pork chops are delicious all on their own. The drizzle of apple cider reduction in combination with the smoky dry rub the chops are coated with adds plenty of flavor. But, the agrodolce really does take them to a whole other level. It's a beautiful, simple way to take an already delicious dish and turn it into something remarkable.
The agrodolce should take approximately the same amount of time to prepare as the total roasting and resting time of the chops. But, agrodolce will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator, so if you'd rather make it ahead of time, go ahead.
Roast some vegetables alongside the Pork chops.
Roasting an assortment of spring vegetables also requires a 450 degree oven and will cook in roughly the same amount of time as the chops. Veggies such as asparagus, bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, and green beans will take approximately 15 - 20 minutes. Tubers and root vegetables, such as potatoes and beets will take a bit longer, depending on how large of chunks you cut them into - 30 to 40 minutes. If roasting these types of vegetables, get them in the oven before the chops.
Roast the vegetables and pork chops on different racks inside your oven, switching the pans between racks halfway through cooking.
One final note about these pork chops...
This is one of those recipes of which I generally like to make more than what's needed for that night's meal. Making 6 or 8 pork chops is hardly more work than making 4, and frozen pork is great to have on hand to add to soup.
For example, making just two extra pork chops will give you enough leftover meat for one of my favorite soups in the whole world - Thai Pork and Noodle Soup. Just cut the meat from the bone of the extra chops, cut them into bite sized pieces, and freeze.
Used in this recipe:
More recipes you might like:
- Spanish Seared Pork Bites with Fried Apples
- Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Pineapple Coleslaw
- Ham and Cheese Pizza with Caramelized Onions and Apple Butter
- Couscous Salad with Spring Veggies and Agrodolce
- Spinach Pasta with Baked Cod and Agrodolce
Weekly Meal Plans that include Cider Braised Pork Chops:
If you give this recipe a try, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, or take a picture and tag it #alittleandalot on Instagram.Print
- Heat the oven to 450 degrees and place a baking dish, roasting pan, or rimmed baking sheet next to your cooktop.
- Rub both sides of the pork chops with a generous amount of the spice rub.
- Heat 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil in a skillet over medium high heat until the oil is shimmering.
- Sear each pork chop in the hot oil to brown, cooking it for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove the browned pork chop to the roasting pan or baking sheet. Unless you have a very large skillet, you'll probably need to do this in batches - 2 chops at a time. If the oil starts to smoke, remove the pan from the heat for a minute or two to cool down slightly before placing back on the heat and proceeding to brown the chops.
- Pour enough apple cider into the pan with the pork chops so that the cider comes ½ to 1-inch up the sides of the pan.
- Put the pan in the oven and roast for 15-25 minutes, turning the chops over halfway through baking. Cook until an instant read thermometer registers 140 - 145 degrees. You can also cut into one of the chops to check for doneness. Cut into a pice close to the bone and observe whether the juices run clear. If they do, the chop is done.
- Remove the chops from the oven, cover with a sheet of aluminum foil and let sit while you make the apple cider glaze.
- Pour all the liquid from the roasting pan into a large saucepan. (The juice might boil up initially, so be sure to use a large pan.) Place the pan over medium high heat and bring to a rolling boil. Continue to cook, stirring every now and then, until the juice is reduced to a thick syrup. Towards the end of cooking, stir frequently and watch carefully to prevent burning. This should take 15-30 minutes depending on how much liquid you start with.
- Serve the chops over wild rice, topped with a drizzle of apple cider glaze and a spoonful or two of agrodolce.