Pork and Apples

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Pork and Apples

豚リンゴPork and Apples

For centuries in the West, pigs and boar have been associated with autumn, as this is the traditional time to cull livestock that could not be kept over the winter. In Europe, pigs were often left to graze in apple orchards, where they could feast on the windfalls. Rotten fruit was converted into meat, rather than being wasted as a food source. Actually, some people say that a diet high in apples can actually flavor the meat. Eating apples with pork is believed to have begun in mediaeval times in Europe, before sugar was readily available, and fruit-sweetened foods were usually served alongside the savory. The apple was one of the common ways to add sweetness to a dish. The timing of apple harvesting and pig culling made this dish a natural creation. The Japanese have embraced this delightful flavor combination as well. (Serves 3-4)

Ingredients:

4 pork chops (ideally, boneless)
Cooking oil
½ onion, chopped
2 apples (1 green, 1 red), peeled and chopped into small cubes
1 tablespoon dark balsamic vinegar
1 cup water
½ teaspoon cornstarch
Chopped green onions (for garnish)

Cookware:

Large heavy skillet, plate

Instructions:

1.       Season the pork with salt. Heat a heavy frying pan with a thin layer of oil. When the oil is medium hot, add the pork. Brown the pork on each side, then remove from the pan and set aside on a plate.

2.       In the same pan, add the onions, and reduce the heat slightly. Sauté until fragrant, being careful not to brown. Add the apples, and sauté for a few minutes until softened slightly.

3.       Return the pork to the pan, and add the vinegar and water. Cover and cook over medium heat until the pork is done and the apples are tender and flavorful.

4.       Remove the pork from the pan, and slice into large chunks. Return the pork to the pan, and allow the meat to soak up the juices.

5.       Garnish with green onions, and serve.