2010 was a big year for pork. I moved back to New York from Paris at the beginning of the year, and it felt like I couldn’t turn to any restaurant, market or blog without seeing pork belly, bacon, and nose-to-tail cooking.
This recipe is one of my favorites. I love how the sweetness of the syrup pairs with the spiciness of the mustard; any Dijon mustard will add that heat, but using whole grain will ensure that every bite gets a little mustard explosion. The apple-cabbage slaw brightens up this dish for spring with flavor and color, and adds a nice crunch.
For the Pork:
Two 1/2-1 pound bone-in pork chops(boneless are fine too, I find the that the bone adds extra moisture and flavor)
3 tbsp whole grain Dijon mustard
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
11/2 tsp fresh sage, minced
2 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
For the Slaw:
1 red apple
1 cup shredded red cabbage
1/4 small yellow onion
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
Fresh lemon juice, to taste
To Make Pork:
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Wash the pork and pat dry with paper towels. Salt, pepper and rub both sides of the chop with one tablespoon of mustard. Heat the oil in a skillet and brown each side of the chop for 2-3 minutes.
Tip: Only flip the pork once. Too much turning can make you lose track of time and cause the meat to cook unevenly.
2. Once browned, put the pork in a baking dish and bake for 10-15 minutes (depending on the thickness of the cut), until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees or the center is barely pink. Let rest for about five minutes.
Tip: Take the dish out on the early side - you may be surprised by how quickly the pork cooks. If it's undercooked you can always bake it longer, but there's no saving an overcooked pork chop!
3. While the pork is in the oven, add cider to the skillet, scraping up any brown bits that might remain. Whisk in the maple syrup and remaining mustard, continuing to stir occasionally until sauce thickens. Once the pork is out of the oven, add sage and any leftover juices from the baking dish while the pork rests. Top the chop with sauce.
To Make Slaw:
Cut the apple, cabbage and onion into long, thin strips. Mix together with vinegar, lemon, salt and pepper to taste. Serve alongside pork chop.