Experience a taste of French elegance with our exquisite French Pork Chops. It’s bathed in a luxurious sauce combining the bold flavors of shallots, crisp granny smith apples, tangy cider, and rich heavy cream.
Alright, buckle up for a culinary joyride because we’re diving into the world of French Pork Chops with Apple Cream Sauce. It’s the perfect combo of juicy pork chops soaking up the sweet, creamy apple goodness. As the pork chops simmer gently, they absorb all the goodness of the apple cream sauce, creating a melt-in-your-mouth experience that’s both comforting and sophisticated. It’s not rocket science; it’s just darn good cooking that turns a regular day into a flavorful fiesta. So, if you’re up for an easy yet impressive dinner, grab your skillet, and let’s get this tasting party started.
Table of Contents
Reasons to Love These French Pork Chops
- French Pork Chops have a rich flavor profile. The combination of savory pork and sweet-tart apple cream sauce creates a deliciously rich and complex flavor.
- It’s a warm, satisfying meal that’s perfect for cozy evenings.
- The aroma of cooking apples and thyme enhances the overall experience.
- These pork chops provide a good balance of protein, fat, and carbs, especially when paired with a side of vegetables or side dishes like our Red-Skinned Mashed Potatoes.
- Despite its gourmet appeal, the simplicity of this dish makes it a favorite for home cooks of all skill levels.
- Boneless Center-Cut Pork Chops: They form the primary component of the dish.
- Granny Smith Apples: Essential for the apple cream sauce and provide a tart and fruity flavor.
- Hard Cider: Adds a unique, slightly alcoholic flavor to the sauce that complements the apples.
- Heavy Cream: Gives the sauce its rich, creamy texture.
- Shallot: Offers a subtle, slightly sweet flavor that enhances the overall taste of the sauce.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
- Cheesy Toppings: Incorporate a layer of melted cheese, such as Gruyere cheese, Provolone, Mozzarella, or Swiss cheese, over the finished French Pork Chops.
- Olive Oil Chic: Opt for extra virgin olive oil instead of vegetable oil, imparting a hint of fruity notes.
- Crispy Bacon Kick: Crisp up some bacon bits and sprinkle them over the finished dish for a savory crunch, adding a delightful smokiness.
How to Make French Pork Chops with Apple Cream Sauce
Step #1: Take the pork chops out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking to allow them to reach room temperature.
Step #2: Place the walnuts in a sauté pan set over medium heat. Dry-toast the walnuts until fragrant, stir and be careful to avoid burning, about 3-5 minutes. Set aside.
Step #3: Season the pork chops with salt and black pepper. Rub both sides of each chop with fresh thyme.
Step #4: Heat the 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the seasoned pork to the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes per side until browned. Remove the pork from the pan and set aside.
Step #5: Add the butter to the skillet, along with the minced shallots and apples. Sauté over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes, until the apples have softened.
Step #6: Pour the cider into the pan and continue to cook for 3 minutes to reduce the liquid.
Step #7: Add the cream and cook for another 3-5 minutes until thick.
Step #8: Return the browned pork to the pan, turn the heat down to medium, cover with a lid, and simmer until you cook the pork through, about 4-6 minutes. Ensure that the pork chops reach 145 ºF (63 ºC) as measured with a meat thermometer.
Step #9: Serve topped with the toasted walnuts.
- Shimmering Oil: Wait until the oil shimmers to add pork chops; this ensures a perfect sear.
- Precise Browning: Brown pork chops for exactly 4-5 minutes per side to develop a rich color without overcooking.
- Simmer, Don’t Boil: Simmer the pork chops in the sauce on low heat to avoid curdling the cream.
- Softening Apples: Sauté apples until just softened to maintain their texture and prevent them from becoming mushy.
- Cider Reduction: Reduce cider in the pan to concentrate the flavor for a more robust sauce.
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! Bone-in pork chops are a great choice for this recipe. They tend to have more flavor due to the bone and slightly more fat, which adds juiciness. Just remember, they might need a few extra minutes of cooking time compared to boneless chops. Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer to ensure they reach 145 ºF (63 ºC).
Peeling the apples is a matter of personal preference. Unpeeled apples provide additional texture and nutrients, and their skins add a rustic look to the dish. However, peeling the apples results in a smoother sauce. If using unpeeled apples, make sure to wash them thoroughly.
Yes, this recipe is quite versatile when it comes to herbs. Rosemary, parsley, or sage are excellent alternatives to thyme. Each herb brings its own unique flavor profile that complements the pork and apples beautifully. Use them in moderation as they can be more potent than thyme.
Absolutely! After searing the pork chops for a nice crust, you can bake them in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C). This method ensures even cooking throughout, especially beneficial for thicker chops. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until they reach the safe internal temperature of 145°F (63°C).
Store leftover French Pork Chops with Apple Cream Sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. While you can freeze this dish, the cream sauce may separate or become grainy when thawed. For reheating, gently warm the pork chops in a skillet over low heat, adding a splash of cream or broth to help the sauce regain its smooth texture. Avoid microwaving as it can dry out the pork and further split the sauce.
French Pork Chops Recipe with Apple Cream Sauce
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 4 boneless center-cut pork chops - about 1″ thick
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 shallot - minced
- 2 granny smith apples - thinly sliced
- 1 cup hard cider*
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Take the pork chops out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking to allow them to reach room temperature.
- Place the walnuts in a sauté pan set over medium heat. Dry-toast the walnuts until fragrant, being careful to avoid burning, about 3-5 minutes. Set aside.
- Season the pork chops with salt and pepper. Rub both sides of each chop with fresh thyme.
- Heat the 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the seasoned pork to the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes per side until browned. Remove the pork from the pan and set aside.
- Add the butter to the skillet, along with the minced shallots and apples. Sauté over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes, until the apples have softened.
- Pour the cider into the pan and continue to cook for 3 minutes to reduce the liquid.
- Add the cream and cook for another 3-5 minutes until thick.
- Return the browned pork to the pan, turn the heat down to medium, cover with a lid, and simmer until you cook the pork through, about 4-6 minutes. Ensure that the pork chops reach 145 ºF (63 ºC) as measured with a meat thermometer.
- Serve topped with the toasted walnuts.