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Better Than The Brady's Pork Chops & Applesauce

Little Peter Brady immortalized this perfect pairing in that awesome 1970s show, "The Brady Bunch." It's my stepdaughter, Cate's most requested meal and I love cooking it for her. Today is my dad's birthday - he would have been 84. He was an observant Jew and also a big fan of pork . A Brooklyn-born Miami transplant who spent summers in Burnsville, NC, he loved the South. The food, the music and the lore but especially the food. Barbecue was his jam and he never met a pork chop he didn't like. Although I was originally inspired by the Bradys and encouraged by Cate, I'll be thinking of my dad when these chops fry up to a crisp, golden brown in my cast iron skillet.

Pork doesn't have a ton of flavor and it can dry out when you cook it so, as with most meats, the key is to brine before you cook it and then let it rest after you take it off the heat. I prefer a dry brine and I fry in an organic rendered pork fat - a gift from my chef friend Lance. As for the applesauce - just slowly simmer chopped, peeled apples, a cinnamon stick in some water for 45 minutes. Pair this with rainbow chard sautéed in olive oil and garlic and you've got a meal with bragging rights.

Heat a Cask Iron Skillet to medium high

2T Rendered Port Fat (or your fat or choice - yes, even olive oil)

3 Thick Cut Bone-In Pork Chops

Kosher Salt

Pepper to taste

Slather the pork chops in kosher salt to brine them in the refrigerator uncovered for as little as two hours or - ideally - overnight. Take them out and bring them to room temp for about 30 minutes before you cook them. Heat the pork fat until a drop of water sizzles when it hits the pan. Wipe off the salt off the chops and gently place them in the skillet - don't over crowd them. Let them brown on one side, flip and repeat. Take them out and place them on paper towels to drain. Let them rest for about 10 minutes. Enjoy.


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