Sunny's Apple Butter Braised Pork Chops

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 45 min
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Bacon and Veggies:

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 strips bacon, chopped 

1/2 cup chopped Vidalia or other sweet onions

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 

8 to 10 sprigs fresh thyme 

1 green bell pepper, halved, seeded and thinly sliced 

2 cloves garlic, grated on a rasp 


2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon olive oil 

4 thick-cut, bone-in pork chops 

10 ounces apple butter 

1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half 

Chopped fresh parsley or cilantro, for garnish

Garlic Red Bliss Mash, recipe follows, for serving

Garlic Red Bliss Mash:

3 pounds red bliss potatoes

4 cloves garlic

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons butter, room temperature

1/2 to 1 cup heavy cream, room temperature


  1. For the bacon and veggies: In a large straight-sided pan with a lid, add the oil and bacon and cook on medium-high heat until the bacon is crisped. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving the fat in the pan.
  2. Add the onions, pepper flakes, thyme and bell peppers. Cook, stirring, until the onions and peppers are tender and the pan is fragrant, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Pick out and discard the thyme stems. Remove the vegetables to a separate plate.
  3. For the chops: To the same pan, add the butter and olive oil. Once the butter is melted and the pan is hot, add the pork chops and sear on one side until a peek beneath reveals a golden color, about 4 minutes. Remove the chops to the plate with the vegetables.
  4. In the same pan still on medium high, add the apple butter and 1 1/4 cups water. Use a wooden spoon to scrape any bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the chops back into the pan, then surround and cover them with the vegetable mixture. Pour the tomatoes over the top, lower the heat to a low simmer and cover halfway. Cook until the desired doneness, usually 5 to 10 minutes lends itself to a lovely pink center.
  5. Allow to rest 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with the reserved bacon and chopped parsley or cilantro. Serve with Garlic Red Bliss Mash.

Garlic Red Bliss Mash:

Yield: 4 to 6 servings
  1. In a large pot, cover the potatoes and garlic with water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, add salt and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain well.
  2. Put the potatoes and garlic back in the pot and cook over low heat to evaporate the rest of the water. Mash in the butter with a potato masher. Add the heavy cream in stages until the desired consistency is reached. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook’s Note

potato masher