Bring the flavors of fall to your table with these slow-baked apple cider pork chops and flavorful red cabbage.
Come apple season, all we think about is apples (and maybe the occasional pumpkin), so it’s no surprise that when thinking about fall fruits for this month’s Wine Pairing Weekend, our first thoughts went to cider.
American Cider vs French Cidre
Now, we’re not talking about the “cider” most widely known in the US and Canada. That’s just pressed apple juice that is sometimes mulled with spices.
There’s nothing wrong with fresh cider. Actually, we couldn’t get through the fall without it.
But it’s not true cider.
When I traveled to France for the first time, one of the things I fell in love with was cidre. It was bubbly, like champagne, and had just enough apple sweetness to curb the bite of a dry white wine.
I haven’t been able to find anything quite as good as Normandy Cidre since.
On a recent trip to Door County, WI, we heard about a winery that made cider in the Normandy fashion.
Of course, we had to stop.
Island Orchard Cider uses apples grown on Washington Island, an area with a similar climate to Northern France. We tend to love anything aged in oak, so we weren’t surprised when their Oak Aged Apple Cider was our clear favorite. The oak adds just a hint of charchoal-y depth to round out the slight sweetness of the apples, like putting a dash of molasses in your mulled cider. This is a dry cider, closer to a brut champagne, but it paired extremely well with the sweetness of the pressed apple cider we used with our pork.
Our slow cooked apple cider pork recipe
There is something almost too perfect about apples and pork. And, when you slow cook them together, the end result is bound to be astounding.
Red cabbage adds such a beautiful color to this dish. Even if you have cabbage haters in the family, test this dish out on them. We have found that slow-cooking cabbage takes away much of the bitterness that turns so many people off to cabbage. And, slow-cooking in apple cider makes things even sweeter!
- 1 lb bone-in pork chops
- 1 tsp thyme
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp salted butter
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 lb red cabbage, shredded
- 1 sweet baking apple (like Gala), sliced
- 2 c pure apple cider
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp prepared mustard
- Preheat your oven to 350F.
- Heat a cast iron skillet or Dutch oven over medium high heat.
- Sprinkle both sides of the pork chops with thyme, salt and pepper. Press the seasonings into the chops.
- Place the pork chops in the hot pan and sear until golden, 2-3 min each side. Remove the pork from the pan and set aside.
- Heat 1 Tbsp of butter in the pan and add onion. Saute over medium heat until they begin to caramelize, 5-8 min. Add cabbage and apple slices, sautéing 2-3 minutes after each addition.
- Remove the pan from the heat and nestle the pork chops into the cabbage mixture.
- In a small bowl, mix together cider, vinegar and mustard. Pour over the ingredients in the pan.
- Place in the oven and cook for 1 hour, uncovered, basting halfway through with the juices in the pan.
Wine pairings for fall fruits!
- Pumpkin Lasagna with Halter Ranch’s Côtes de Paso by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Squash and Sausage Soup with Pumpkin Cornbread and McKinley Springs 2010 Bombing Range Red by Tasting Pour
- Linguine with Roasted Carnival Squash and a Garnacha by Cooking Chat
- Pinot Vs. Syrah – Pork Tenderloin with Fig & Apple Sauce by Confessions of a Culinary Diva
- Apple Cider Pork with Red Cabbage and Oak Aged Apple Cider by Curious Cuisiniere
- Harvest Fruits-Maple Crisp paired with a Riesling by Eliot’s Eats
- Caramelized Almond Apple Upside Down Cake with a Late Harvest Riesling by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Forgotten Fire Late Harvest Riesling and Warm Apple Crisp by Grape Experiences
- Peach and Ginger Cobbler and Tablas Creek Petit Manseng by ENOFYLZ Wine Blog
- Wines for a Sweet & Savory Fall Harvest Meal by foodwineclick
- Fall Fruit and Wine Pairing by Rockin Red Blog
- Autumn Pumpkin Food Flair by Vino Travels — An Italian Wine Blog
- Butternut Squash Risotto: White Wine or Rosé by Pull That Cork
- Autumn Puff Pastry Tart and La Crema Chardonnay by It’s Okay to Eat the Cupcake
David of Cooking Chat started this event in June of 2014, and every month since then this group of wine and food lovers have had a great time! For more background, check out the original post announcing Wine Pairing Weekend. You can see the full list of past and upcoming #winePW events here.