A seasonal favorite straight from the pages of the Plated cookbook, this sweet and savory dish showcases the classic autumn pairing of pork and apples. Pork chops are pan seared until tender, then topped with gravy that’s made from the flavorful juices leftover in the pan, plus tart apple cider and shallot. Roasted Gala apple, fennel, and tarragon dressed in a tangy Dijon vinaigrette serves as a crisp, entirely autumnal side.
3 ounces baby arugula
1 Gala apple
8 ounces fennel
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
2 boneless pork chops
½ cup apple cider
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, divided
1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
10″ medium pan
To remove the core from the fennel halves, cut it out in a wedge shape.
Deglazing is a technique in which adding liquid, like apple cider and vinegar, to the pan after cooking protein loosens any browned bits stuck to the bottom. Scrape them up into your gravy—they are full of flavor.
Preheat oven to 425ºF. Rinse all produce. Pat arugula dry with paper towel. Slice off rounded sides of apple, discarding core, and thinly slice. Halve fennel, remove and discard core, and thinly slice (see Recipe Tip). Peel shallot and mince.
On a baking sheet, toss apple and fennel with dried tarragon, 1½ tablespoons olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired. Arrange in a single layer, spacing apart, and roast until tender, 13-15 minutes.
While apple and fennel roast, pat pork chops dry with paper towel and season all over with ¾ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. In a medium pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add pork and sear until browned and cooked through, 3-5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside to rest, leaving behind any juices in pan for making gravy.
While pork rests, return pan with juices to medium-high heat, then add shallot. Sauté, stirring, until translucent, 1-2 minutes. Add apple cider and 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar and cook, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan, until liquid has reduced by half, about 2 minutes more (see Recipe Tip). Remove pan from heat. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.
In a large bowl, whisk together Dijon mustard, remaining apple cider vinegar, and 1½ tablespoons olive oil until fully combined. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Add arugula and roasted apple and fennel and toss to coat.
Transfer roasted fennel-apple salad to serving plates. Top with seared pork chops, spoon over cider gravy, and dig in!