Baked Pork Chops with Rosemary, Apples and Caramelized Onions

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Baked Pork Chops with Apples, Rosemary
Baked Pork Chops with Rosemary, Apples and Caramelized Onions by Angela Roberts

Homer: Are you saying you’re never going to eat any animal again? What about bacon?

Lisa: No.
Homer: Ham?
Lisa: No!
Homer: Pork chops?
Lisa: Dad, those all come from the same animal!
Homer: Heh heh heh… ooh… yeah… right, Lisa. A wonderful… magical animal.

I can’t believe I have anything in common with Homer Simpson, but he loves pork chops and so do I. Once, I got in a little trouble with my Aunt Linda over pork chops. I stayed with her and her little girl for a week one summer and every night we would go to a little restaurant to eat. Her little girl would order a burger from the kiddie menu, but at 9 years old, I was already a foodie, and kiddie menus didn’t interest me.

One night I ordered pork chops and my aunt scolded me for spending too much money. I felt horrified and shamed because my family ate out in restaurants frequently,  and I had never been sanctioned for ordering a more grown up meal.  But, then is it normal for a nine year old girl to order pork chops? Homer Simpson would say it was. Needless to say, it didn’t scar me for life.  I still love my pork chops.

I’m not sure of Homer Simpson’s preferences, but I only like the center-cut chops, which have a T bone, similar to a T bone steak. There is usually enough fat and bone in a center-cut, which adds up to flavor. Pork tenderloin (the all white meat with no bone) is too often tasteless and boring and requires a lot of doctoring up to call it comfort food.

Pork chops can have issues too.  The problem most cooks get into with pork chops is tenderness. The meat other side of that bone can have a lot of connective tissue which can make a chop tough and chewy.

Retro Rose, queen of the comfort food, taught me to bake my chops for two hours at a low temperature under cover most of the time to ensure tenderness.  The flavor is boosted by slices of apples and onions that bake into a caramelized  treasure.  Herbs such as rosemary, sage, thyme or oregano marry into this family of flavors perfectly.

I’ve discovered a better way to make these. Brine them. Twenty minutes in a solution of water, salt and sugar (no more than that) and bake low and slow.

Pork Chops with rosemary apples and caramelized onions by Angela Roberts

Be sure to add in some colorful side dishes and make extra apples and onions to serve with the chops. Naturally, I baked these in a cast iron skillet. I served the pork chops with apples and then served this apple pie for dessert. Redundant? A food faux pas? What do you think? Do you repeat ingredients in subsequent dishes?

I also made a wonderful mustard oven fried pork chop here that you will also love.

And, as long as you’re into comfort food, why not make these AMAZING biscuits to go along. (My most popular all time post for a reason).

My Fluffy Homemade Biscuits Video by Angela Roberts

Please follow me on instagram to see lots more. xoxo

 More Pork Chops

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5 from 2 votes

Baked Pork Chops with Rosemary, Apples and Caramelized Onions

My favorite way to eat porkchops, sweetened with apples, kissed with rosemary.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Servings: 4
Author: Angela Roberts

Ingredients

  • 4 center-cut pork chops one inch thick
  • Brine ingredients see below
  • sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large apples sliced cross wise with skin on
  • 2 large onion sliced cross wise with skin on
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary off stem, chopped finely

Brine

  • 3 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons salt

Instructions

  • Liberally salt pork chops. Wrap in plastic, refrigerate for several hours.
  • One hour before baking, take chops out, brush salt off, and brine in water, sugar, salt mixture for 30 minutes. Pat Dry.
  • Mix with mixture of olive oil and balsamic vinegar
  • Add dash of rosemary, salt and pepper
  • Arrange cast iron skillet or baking dish with sliced onion, apple, pork chops, topped again with sliced onion and apple.
  • Take remaining apple and onion and place around the chops.
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  • Bake in roasting pan with loose tin foil cover for 30 minutes. Turn over and bake for another 20 minutes.
  • Remove foil and apple over pork chops.turn up the heat to 400 degrees, and bake for 10- 20 minutes to brown. Add remaining rosemary. Chops are done when fat is browned.

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25 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Using four big, beautiful & classic pork chops, I made this 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟recipe last night. Followed your instructions to the letter w/a tiny bit of variation: brined 4 hours, patted dry, rubbed with oil-vinegar mixture & all the rest the same – except I did sear chops first & caramelized sliced onion in the renderings – followed by assembly per instructions. Baked foil-covered for 80 minutes at 300 F. This dish was a singular HIT! Perfectly tender meat with such a delicious sweet/savory flavor. An A+++ rating. Thank you, Angela AND especially Retro Rose! ♥️ 😇

      1. 5 stars
        Hi Angela – I’m making this *again* tomorrow for Sunday dinner. In fact I’ve made these pork chops three times now. Last time I did everything the same EXCEPT I subbed a few canned pineapple slices (no added sugar) in place of the apple slices, along with the onion & a sliced green bell pepper + an extra T of apple cider vinegar & about a half cup of brown Swerve. It was tremendous, like Chinese chops, sweet & sour. Served it over cauliflower rice for low carb people and basmati rice for the rest. People RAVED! Tomorrow I am going to try this recipe with Swerve sweetened cherries! Such a versatile recipe. These are the most tender & delicious pork chops I’ve ever made or eaten – & I’ve been having such fun with them! Thank you again, Angela AND your mom,Retro Rose. I think she’d approve of these variations. ✨
        🥰😘😋🏆

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  4. Course… slicing with ‘skin on’ the onions is NOT an option … I followed the 30 min on 300 and 20 min on 400 rule and it worked out great!

  5. Was great! Did have to ‘caramelize’ my onions and apples after the baking, but it tasted great! Added a baked Sweet Potato and Salad and it was more than I could eat!

  6. i agree it was confusing. you said retro rose said 2 hours but your recipe didnt follow that. do you cook at 300 for an hour and 40 mins and then 20 mins at 400? Turn every 15 mins after the first turn at 30?

  7. Confusing –what do you mean? After the 1st 30 minutes, turn them over, cook 15 minutes, turn back over and cook 15 minutes more at 400?

  8. I don’t mind repeating ingredients in subsequent dishes as long as it’s not too obvious. And porkchops with apple and then apple pie is good for me! I think with porkchops – as with any meat – is to have a good piece of meat. The supermarket pork chops are just plain horrible, chewy, dry and inedible but the ones I get out of the local farm are amazingly delicious… 🙂 Interesting to have them cook for two hours! I do have to try that!

  9. I guess the judges would say that was marrying the flavors from entree to dessert. I say, who cares as long as it tastes good?

    P.S. I like ‘skin on’ and the splash of vinegar.

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