Roasted Cider Sage Pork Chops

Roasted Cider Sage Pork Chops

Won’t you consider the pork chop?

Actually, I suspect that most of you who read this blog probably give the pork chop ample consideration. Its just me.  I don’t.  So I guess I’m really just talking to myself here.   Up until now I have failed to show much consideration for this particular cut of pig.   That’s changing.

When it comes to pig parts it has always been the pork tenderloin that has had my eternal gratitude.  Lets face it, a pork tenderloin (with any marinade at all) in a 500 degrees oven for 20 minutes (exactly!) and you have a perfectly prepared dinner entre every time.   Pork ribs earned my finger-licking respect many years ago when I discovered that slow cooking at very low temperatures would deliver fall-of-the-bone deliciousness every time with very little possibility of cooking time errors.  Respect.

Ham is the food of celebrations and offers up its bounty in many forms of leftover all week long.  Who doesn’t love “ham week”?    And bacon, well, who won’t admit to worshiping bacon? (Observant Jews and Muslims excepted, of course.)

But the pork chop? Meh. Not so much.  Pork chops until now only succeed in arousing my feeling of indifference.

This culinary ennui may be the result of not having many quirky stories relating to relate pork chops.  Unlike most of my personal favorites herein, the pork chop doesn’t remind me of my childhood in any significant way.  This is because pork chops weren’t a part of our family meal rotation, moreover, I can’t recall even a single instance of my mother making them for us.

My grandmother didn’t have any celebrated pork chop recipes either although I do recall one uncelebrated attempt.  One morning during an overnight visit to grandmother’s she served  up the greasiest chops I’ve ever seen  – for breakfast!  The meal also featured fried eggs, biscuits, and country gravy – a heart stopping way to start the day if there ever was one.   Her breakfast choice that day never made any sense to us and when questioned about it later she  explained away the pork chops by calling them “fancy bacon”.

We were unconvinced and so chalked it up to some form of aggressive messaging from grandma to our mother, who had prepared a list of culinary do’s and don’ts to follow while we were being watched for the weekend.

Grandmother never made them again.   So, just as we would never answer the riddles of the odd tasting ketchup and green mustard, Grandmother’s unexplained pork chop episode would never be fully explained with any satisfying detail.  Just like your  average episode of “Lost”.

Roasted Cider Sage Pork Chops

Restaurant pork chops could never seduce me either.  I found them mostly to be tough and dry by the time they get to my table.  Perhaps this is due in part from the cook’s irrational fear (despite the facts) of poisoning me with trichinosis.  In his mind he isn’t serving me tough as nails, dried out pork meat, he is saving me life!

If the chop is fortunate enough to survive its brining,  broiling, frying, grilling, or which ever  chosen method of preparation it then slathered in some sort of sweet, sugary fruit sauce made with jam– as if an early dessert is sufficient consolation prize for suffering through overcooked pork.

Why again would I want to make these at home?

I went against type and gave chops a try when I happened on them a week at Trader Joe’s.  They were offered for sale already frenched in the meat case.  Their tiny little bones sticking out made them look naked, vulnerable and in need of some love.  I felt as if I had found a lonely kitten abandoned in a cardboard box on the street with a note on it that read ‘free to good home.”

“Ooooh!  Aren’t they cute!   I can’t leave those here.  I have to bring them home!”

I didn’t really know what I was going to do with them but I knew I had to do something.  Something that did not include any jam to be sure.   Sage fit the bill and the only fruity something something was from the apple juice which boiled out and balanced the vinegar.   Hardly knew it was there!

The method here is the thing.  Toss the chops into a hot pan in a hot oven and let them do their thing.   Caramelizing on the hot pan in a hot oven seems genius to me as it lets the chops get browned and cooked through on all sides, shortening the cooking time to prevent drying.

Do adjust the cooking time for the thickness of the chops and take them out before they are fully done.  They will sit awhile and no, you won’t get trichinosis.  I will make these again now that I am fully considering  the pork chop.

Roasted Cider Sage Pork Chops

Roasted Cider Sage Pork Chops Roasted Cider Sage Pork Chops
Roasted Cider Sage Pork Chops Roasted Cider Sage Pork Chops

Roasted Cider Sage Pork Chops

Serving Size: 2

Roasted Cider Sage Pork Chops

adapted from Shook & Dotolo’s Two Dudes One Pan.

This is what you will need:

  • 1/4 cup grape seed oil
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 1.5? pork chops on the bone
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 shallots finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 4 teaspoons cider vinegar (I used pomegranate vinegar to great effect.)

This is how you make it:

  1. Place your roasting pan in the center of your oven and preheat to 450 degrees while you prepare your ingredients. You want the pan to get hot!
  2. Rub half the oil over the chops and season with all of the salt.
  3. Allow to sit until your oven is fully heated to 450 degrees.
  4. When it is, remove pan, add the other half the oil and then place the chops in the pan and return to the oven.
  5. Roast chops until you get crispy brown, caramelized edges, about 12 minutes.
  6. Cooking time will vary, however, on the thickness of the chops.
  7. Do not over cook! Flip the chops half way through the cooking time.
  8. You can use a knife inserted into the middle to check for doneness or an instant read thermometer. 2? chops took me 15 minutes but your mileage may vary.
  9. Just don’t overcook as these will sit a bit while you finish the sauce.
  10. Spoon some juices over the chops before taking out of the oven to keep moist.
  11. Remove chops from hot pan to a plate and tent with foil while you complete the sauce.
  12. Add butter to hot roasting pan and when it has finished melting add the shallots.
  13. Return pan to oven for 1 minute to get the shallots cooking and the pan hot again.
  14. Remove pan from oven and add sage, cider, and vinegar.
  15. Put pan on stove top burner set to medium and cook down just a bit before spooning over chops.


Serve immediately.
Roasted Cider Sage Pork Chops


About Trevor Kensey

To be truthful, I don't know what “Sis. Boom. [blog!]" means either. The name implies something explosive just happened I suppose I would like it if each post would make made a small 'boom' in your day or at least a fizzle. Even though a recipe is included with every post I have a hard time calling this a "food blog" or even myself a "food blogger".

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  1. Growing up, my mother made the WORST pork chops. It became something of a running joke. You’d ask what’s for dinner, she’d say pork chops, you’d wrinkle your nose and she’d say: “No, they’ll be good this time.” They never were. So I relate to your dismissal of them, but I too have recently rediscovered a love for them, and like you, sans jam. Sage is perfect! As is your cooking method here. One thing though: All similarities aside, if you do find a little lonely kitten, do not bring it home and stick it in a hot pan and eat it.

    • The method really does seem to be the best way but I’m sure there will be some that would want to debate it. I try to avoid lonely kittens because I know I would have trouble refusing it a home. Like these frenched chops!

  2. I LOVE pork chops, and the ones you made look so thick and juicy!

  3. Sigh. Pork chops were the thing that my childhood culinary nightmares were made of.
    They were often served gray on top of no-fully-cooked sliced potatoes that had been liberally dosed with a coating of Campbell’s “cream of” something.
    I still have not recovered.
    P. S. Kittens grow up to be cats. With sharper claws. And inconsistent waste-recycling systems. Don’t let their cuteness fool you – they are all monsters inside. Just sayin’

  4. I’ve been looking for a good way to make pork chops and these look divine… planning on testing it out this week!

  5. These look delicious. My mother was like that chef you spoke of. Pork chops were pan fried until stiff as a board and so difficult to eat that I could happily have been a vegetarian on those nights.

  6. I like Pork Chops it’s ham (all rubbery and pink) that turns my stomach! GREG

  7. Somehow that cut of chops appeal to me as well, I like rib steaks as well. I think that all cuts of meat can be ruined by the incorrect method of preparation-some more so than others.
    Your method here is pretty unique, but if it saves me from eating shoe leather its well worth it. Also, great notes of flavor as well.

  8. Damn. These look so much better than the shake n bake pork chops my dad use to make… which were pretty damn good… I’m not gonna lie.

  9. Those are really thick chops (wait, that sounds wrong). Good choice of preparation. Like you, I always wonder why pork chops are prepared with a cloyingly sweet component. I do have plenty of childhood memories surrounding this cut of meat but my Mom used to season them liberally with Montreal Steak Spice. Highly savoury and no jam!

    You know what though? To fully experience pork chop, you have a properly prepared thick cut tonkatsu crusted with golden panko. 🙂

  10. Wonderful post…haven’t enjoyed good pork chops in awhile. Your post reminds me how good they can be.

  11. Those are beautiful pork chops – they remind me of the ones I’ve had when my parents (very occasionally) raised pigs on their hobby farm. Pork chops are the easiest cut to ruin – you’ve treated them with care! I have to admit I like a little apple with my pork chops – I braise them in a marinade of soy sauce, apple cider vinegar,sage, Cremini mushrooms, and a little chopped apple and they turn out nicely.

  12. Oh, yeah…I would have snatched up those frenched pork chops, too. My family loves chops…even though half the time they ARE dry by the time I finish with them :/ Your recipe sounds just perfect…wonderful balance of sweet and acid. Hope you enjoy the weekend, Trevor!

  13. I find pork chops dull and dry also; with so many meat options I never seem to get to the chops. I wonder if I can get thicker ones, like yours, not the thin poor excuse they usually sell. Love the apple cider with sage, and the oven, it never fails to cook a good piece of meat! Good weekend

  14. Your grandmother serving pork chops for breakfast is quite funny! I happen to love pork chops. Your recipe sounds amazing, and your pork chops look absolutely delicious!

  15. My grandmother used to make us pork chops with white rice and gravy. I loved the rice and gravy. I think I liked the pork chops too even though I’m certain they were overcooked. But when I was a kid, I guess that was okay. I have had zero success in cooking pork chops in my own kitchen. They are always tough. Will have to give your method a try!

  16. Anonymous says:

    I like the sound — and look — of this technique and I will probably think of you the next time I try pork