BRAISED PORK CHOPS WITH APPLES (for four)
4 loin pork chops, about 1 inch thick, brined for 2 hours in a solution of ¼ cup kosher salt dissolved into 1 quart (4 cups) cold water
flour for dusting
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
½ pound apples, peeled, cored and sliced about ½ inch thick
½ cup chicken broth
½ cup dry, hard cider
¼ cup apple jack (optional)
freshly ground pepper
1. Remove the chops from the brine, rinse them under cold tap water, and pat them dry with paper towels. Season the chops with salt, then dust with flour. Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet. Lightly brown the chops on both sides. Remove to a warm platter. Add the apple slices to the pan and saute in the remaining oil, turning once, for 1 minute.
2. In an ovenproof casserole, arrange half of the apples, the chops on top, then the remaining apples. To the skillet add the broth, cider, apple jack (if desired), salt and pepper. Boil 3 minutes, then pour the liquid over the chops in the casserole. Cover tightly and bake at 350* for 45 minutes, or until the chops are cooked and tender. Serve with boiled new potatoes, a green salad, and a hard, very dry cider, if available.
adapted from Penelope Casas, The Foods and Wines of Spain