Skillet Pork Chops with Sauerkraut ‘N’ Applesauce

SKILLET PORK CHOPS WITH SAUERKRAUT ‘N' APPLESAUCE
4 servings
This is a great dish to serve for an Oktoberfest meal.

  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil (corn, canola, or safflower oil, or a combination) (optional) (see note)
  • 4 pork chops, bone-in or boneless, center-cut or ribs chops, each cut about ½-inch thick
  • Salt or seasoned salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste (optional)
  • 2 cups sauerkraut, drained
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped peeled onion
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon caraway seeds (optional)
  • 1 cup commercial cinnamon-flavored applesauce,  or 1 cup commercial unflavored applesauce and 2 cinnamon sticks, broken, or Homemade Brandied Applesauce
  • Light or dark brown sugar or granulated brown sugar substitute to taste
  • Sprigs of parsley for garnish (optional)

Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over moderate heat; brown pork chops thoroughly in hot oil over moderate heat, about 2 minutes per side.  Season each chop lightly with salt or seasoned salt and pepper, if desired.  Remove pork chops, draining well, and set aside.  Drain off excess pan drippings.  Add sauerkraut, water, onion, and caraway seeds, if desired, to skillet.  Arrange pork chops atop the sauerkraut mixture.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 35 to 40 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine commercial applesauce, cinnamon sticks, if used, and brown sugar to taste; set aside.  Or, prepare Homemade Brandied Applesauce, cool, and set aside.

To serve, spoon a “bed” of sauerkraut on each of four dinner plates; arrange a pork chop atop each bed of sauerkraut.   Pass any remaining sauerkraut in a sauceboat.  Pass applesauce in a separate sauceboat.  Garnish each serving with sprigs of parsley, if desired. 

Note: May omit oil; lightly coat skillet with non-caloric vegetable cooking spray.  

Note: This recipe may be done on the grill.  Brown chops directly on the grill; after browning chops, both sides, arrange sauerkraut mixture on a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil, bringing up sides of foil to form a pan.  Arrange chops over sauerkraut; loosely cover with additional foil and continue to grill at the highest grill level setting over slow coals (very ash gray and glowing) or the low to medium setting of a gas grill for about 30 minutes or until chops are fork tender.  Be careful not to burn chops or sauerkraut mixture.

Variation: May add 2 to 4 ounces sautéed bratwurst, or mild-flavored Italian sausage, or Polish sausage, or other desired sausage, cut into bite-size pieces, casing removed if desired. May grill sausage on a charcoal or gas grill; remove casing, if desired, and cut into pieces after grilling.

Brandied Applesauce
about 3 cups

  • 5 to 6 cooking apples, cored, peeled, seeds removed, and cut into large pieces
  • 1 cup water or orange juice
  • ½ cup light brown sugar or the equivalent of ½ cup brown sugar in granulated brown sugar substitute
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
  • ¼ cup brandy (see note)

In a large heavy saucepan, combine apples, water or orange juice, brown sugar, and salt.  Bring mixture to a boil over moderate heat.  Reduce heat, add cinnamon sticks, and simmer for about 40 to 45 minutes.  Add brandy and continue simmering about 15 minutes or until mixture is a lumpy puree, thickened, and reduced by one-third. Remove cinnamon stick pieces.  Cool.  May store in the refrigerator in a sealed glass jar for several days, if desired.

Note: May omit brandy; add an additional ¼ cup water to apple mixture.

Variation: Add 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange peel to apple mixture with orange juice, if used.

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