Seared pork chops are stewed in sweet and tangy apple gravy to make it tender, juicy, and flavorful. Searing the pork chops before baking them seal in their moisture and give them a nice brown color. This healthy recipe, adapted from The Good Housekeeping Meat Cook Book, has no added sugar and consists of simple ingredients like fresh lemon juice, garlic, flour, salt, and pepper in addition to the applesauce and pork chops. If you want an even healthier dish, you can trim off the fat from the pork chops before or after cooking them. Just remember that the fat adds flavor and keeps the meat from drying out. You can use either boneless pork chops or chops with bones to make this recipe. Pork chops with bones are tastier when baked because the flavor from the bones leak into the sauce.
You can use canned applesauce to make this recipe, but for better results make your own applesauce and prepare it ahead of time before you plan to make this dish. To make a simple applesauce, use good cooking apples like Golden Delicious, Fuji, Braeburn, McIntosh, or Jonathan. Peel and core the apples then slice them into thick segments. Place the apples in a saucepan and cover them with cold water. Bring to a boil over medium heat then reduce the heat to low. If you want a chunky applesauce, simmer the apples for 8 to 10 minutes and if you want a smoother version, simmer the apples for an extra 5 minutes or more. Add some sugar to make the applesauce sweet or leave it as is if you want something healthier. Don’t worry if you made a lot, since you can jar the applesauce and use it to top ice cream or pies, or use as a side dish to meats.
- 3 lb. pork chops
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 3 cups boiling water
- 2 1/2 cups applesauce
- 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Heat a large skillet over medium. Add the pork chops (one or two at a time, if necessary) and brown on both sides. Place the browned chops in a 3 quart casserole dish.
In the same skillet, sauté the garlic until barely golden. Add the flour, salt, and pepper and blend well. Add the water. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until the liquid thickens.
Add the applesauce and lemon juice. Blend well, then pour over the pork chops. Bake 1 ½ hours, basting every half hour.