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During winter's chilly embrace, it is best to have something solid and hearty warm you and provide comfort. The Pacific Northwest might be able to claim a milder climate, even if torrential rains sometimes drive even the most foolish inside, but even here, chill fingers still reach into houses to try to pluck at the inhabitants within. The antidote? A veritable bouquet of hearty pork, potatoes, onions, and apples!
This dish is a casserole (which is composed of a layer of potatoes, then pork chops, then onions, then potatoes again, and finally apples) with a melange of different spices, including lots of cinnamon, dill, brown sugar, and with white wine and mustard. All of the ingredients are initially sautéd, which helps to lock in and enhance their flavor. The dish combines sweet onions, well-spiced pork, and superbly seasoned onions as well as almost dessert-like apples and makes for a wonderful dish. If you don't want to spend too much time on the preparation, then instead you can buy smoked pork chops and only sauté the onions. But you will need to cook it for a longer period of time. It is necessary to cook for a substantial period to ensure that the potatoes are cooked and, indeed, make certain that they are appropriately done when cooking them, as they are one element which sometime tends to be insufficiently cooked.
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This recipe is adopted from one found in Dungeness Crabs and Blackberry Cobler by Janie Hibler.
- 4 pork chops, around 1 1/2 pounds
- 2 onions, peeled and diced
- 1 lb Russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced 1/4 inch thick
- Olive oil
- 2/3 cup white wine
- 3 teaspoons mustard
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons dill
- 1/2 teaspoon sage
- 1/2 teaspoon tarragon
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4 or 1/2 inch thick
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- Place the pork chops into a casserole dish, and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon dill, 1/2 teaspoon sage, 1/2 teaspoon tarragon, and 2 minced cloves garlic. Rub these spices into it, and allow for it to sit for 30 minutes.
- Pour several tablespoons of olive oil into a large skillet, and heat. When hot, put in the diced onions, and their 2 teaspoons brown sugar, and sauté for 8-10 minutes, until it begins to brown. Remove onions from the skillet, and set aside.
- Heat the skillet again, and place the pork chops into it. Sear lightly for a short period of time, to lock into them the flavor. Remove. If there is garlic left in the skillet, this will be useful for the next step.
- Place some more olive oil into the skillet, and add the sliced potatoes, sprinkle them with 1 tablespoon dill, and add 1/3 cup wine. Sauté for 10 minutes, then remove.
- In a large casserole dish, at least 2 quarts, place the majority of the potatoes on the bottom, forming a homogenous layer. Then place the pork chops on top of them. Pour over them part of a mixed combination of 1/3 cup wine and 3 teaspoons mustard. Then add over this the onions, and finally the remaining potatoes. Pour the remaining wine and mustard mixture over this.
- Bake, covered, in an oven at 350 degrees f for 1 hour.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet, and add the apple slices. Cook for around 4 minutes, then add in mixed 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon cloves. When the casserole is removed from the oven, spread the apples over the top, and then serve.
© 2017 Ryan Thomas