Baked Pork Chops

We picked up a cookbook over ten years ago when we took the kids on a driving trip that circumnavigated Lake Superior. Apparently, our initial enthusiasm for the recipes from “Finnish and Swedish kitchens of the North Country,” must have waned, because we found the cookbook yesterday at the bottom of a stack of books we were culling. Thank goodness we gave the book a second chance. Many of the recipes are reminiscent of church-basement socials, but there are some gems, too.

Here is one recipe we plan to re-insert into some of our meal rotations. The recipe is simple, but we still made our own modifications. We used apple cider instead of the apple juice, and we used freshly sliced peeled Granny Smith apples instead of the canned pie slice apples. Make certain your pork chops have a little fat on them, or you may want to add a small amount of cooking oil when browning the chops. The cooking method is great for incorporating the apple flavor, but be careful about letting the pork chops overcook.

The source of the recipe is Northcountry Kitchens Cookbook, 1994, page 120.

6 thick pork chops
salt and pepper
apple juice
1 20-oz. can pie sliced apples
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves

Brown chops on both sides in their own fat. Place in flat baking dish, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add enough apple juice to cover chops, cover pan. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Top with drained apple slices, sprinkle with spices. Return to oven, uncovered. Bake an additional 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Here is a picture of the pork chop plated on rice, served with Aunt Mary’s cranberry-raspberry dish and pan-roasted brussels sprouts gratin.

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