Pork Chops—Hold the Applesauce

Forget the applesauce. You don’t need it with these Brandy Apple Pork Chops, a recipe from Islamorada's Island Grill in the Florida Keys.

by John D. Ivanko
Brandy Apple Pork Chops - Photo by John D. Ivanko (HobbyFarms.com)
Photo by John D. Ivanko/farmsteadchef.com

Forget the applesauce. You don’t need it with these Brandy Apple Pork Chops, a recipe from Islamorada’s Island Grill in the Florida Keys. These pork chops are moist, packed with flavor and have a melt-in-your-mouth creamy sweetness that comes from a sauce prepared with apples, mascarpone cheese, brown sugar and brandy.

“Everything we do at our restaurant is a little twisted,” says Jack McCormick, the Island Grill’s general manager. We caught up with him at the Key Largo Food and Wine Festival, as he was dishing up samples of these pork chops created by Chef Roger Potvin. (Chef Potvin’s recipe is adapted below.) 

Some of Island Grill’s other culinary twists include tater chip fondue and their original tuna nachos (fresh ahi grade tuna nestled on a bed of sesame seaweed salad over crisp wontons and topped with wasabi drizzle, sesame seeds, sweet soy, Sriracha and scallions).

If you can purchase pasture-raised pork for this recipe, all the better. Besides avoiding the large, inhumane and ecologically dismal hog CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations), in pastured pork you’ll often find the meat to be more nutritious, tender and flavorful. Our favorite pastured pork in Wisconsin is from Tony and Sue Renger’s Willow Creek Farm.

Recipe: Brandy Apple Pork Chops
Adapted from recipe provided by Chef Roger Potvin of Island Grill

Yield: 2 servings

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  • 3 T. butter
  • 1 pound pork chops (about 2 large pieces)
  • 1 apple, sliced with peels on (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup brandy

In large sauté pan over medium heat, melt butter and cook pork chops until golden brown, approximately 3 to 4 minutes on each side.

Spread mascarpone cheese onto warm pork chops. Mix sliced apples and brown sugar, and place neatly on top. Lower heat, cover and cook about 10 minutes or until apples are tender.

Pour brandy over pork chops and cook, uncovered, until brandy cooks down and sauce thickens, about 10 minutes.  Baste pork chops occasionally with sauce while cooking.

Serve immediately.

Savoring the good life,

John and Lisa's Signatures

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