Belgian Pork Chops with Apple and Cider (Côtelettes de porc a la Flamande)

These pork chops are cooked the Flemish way from Flanders, the Dutch speaking northern portion of Belgium. What makes the recipe interesting is that it uses local hard cider to tenderize the pork during cooking instead of the Belgian dark beer used in stews like the famous Carbonnade a la flamande. Apples and pork cooked in apple cider…what could be bad?

Côtelettes de Porc a la Flamande – Belgian Pork Chops with Apples and Cider

The combination of pork and apples has always been a marriage made in heaven. The Belgians use both fresh apples and hard apple cider to cook the pork. Unless you can't find hard cider, use it as it does a better job of tenderizing the chops than plain apple cider. Either way, you can't lose. Serve with some vegetable and potatoes.
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Course: Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Belgium, North Western European
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Author: My Hungry Traveler

Equipment

  • Large skillet
  • Shallow casserole pan with lid

Ingredients

  • 4 thick Pork chops, 1½ to 2-inches thick
  • 6 tbsp Butter, 2 tbsp melted
  • 4 large Tart apples like Bramley or Granny Smith, cored, peeled and sliced thin longways (hand or mandolin)
  • 2 tbsp Fresh lemon juice
  • 4 crushed Juniper berries
  • 4 sprigs Each rosemary and parsley (or ½ tsp each dried)
  • 18 oz Good bottle of hard cider (or Apple cider)
  • 2 tbsp Flour
  • 1 tbsp Butter

Instructions

Cook Pork Chops

  • Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). In a skillet, brown the chops in 4 tbsp butter over medium heat, 5-6 minutes per side. Remove and arrange in a shallow lidded casserole.
    Sprinkle crushed juniper berries over the chops. Add parsley and rosemary sprigs. Arrange apple slices over the chops, tucking some down the sides.
    Deglaze the pan the chops were browned in with a little cider. Add 2 tbsp butter until just melted. Pour pan juices over the apples and chops.
    Add enough cider to come up to the top of the chops but leaving the apple slices exposed. Cover casserole and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove lid and add little more cider if necessary to top it off. Cook another 20-25 minutes with the lid off.
    Transfer chops to a plate and loosely cover with foil to keep warm. Remove apples to a seperate bowl.

Make Sauce

  • Melt 1½ tbsp butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour and stir constantly until it starts to brown and becomes a roux, about 5 minutes. Lower the temperature a little and stir in the liquids from the casserole the pork was cooked in. Increase heat and boil for around 5 minutes. If it begins to look like it's getting too thick, add a few tbsp cider to thin.

Serve

  • Plate each pork chop with apples tossed around it. Spoon cider gravy over and serve with some kind of potato and broccoli.

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