Apples, Calvados and Garlicky Honey-Dijon Pork Chops

It’s finally fall and we’re enjoying the cooler, crisp fall days more so than usual in Southern California this year. It’s also the season for juicy, ripe apples and what always goes fantastic with apples? thick, bone-in pork chops of course!

Classic British Tableware for Decadent Main Dish

For classic dish like porkchops and sautéed apples, Old Britain Castles dinner plates in Blue is just right. Love the intricate deep blue pattern, it just screams classic British pottery! Too bad I don’t have the entire collection, but I can find these beautiful vintage pieces with “Made in England” stamp from my usual go to retailers, Replacements and Etsy.

Apples with Calvados as a Side for Honey Dijon Porkchops

Sautéed apples, especially with hint of Calvados is a refreshing side dish to a decadent pork entrée. There are so many delicious cooking apples to choose from, but my favorite at the moment are honey-crisp apples. First of all I’m really liking the balance of sweet-tart flavors and like its name sake it’s really crisp which means it won’t turn into mush when you cook them. Other apples that are perfect for cooking are:

  • Fuji
  • Gala
  • Jonagold
  • Braeburn

What makes this sautéed apples bit more fancy is the Calvados factor. In case you never tried Calvados (Calva for short), it’s an apple brandy made in Normandy region of France. Normandy is well known for apple based products and I remember enjoying Calvados and Ciders in bistros very much when I visited this beautiful place years ago!

There are lot of Calva to choose from and for me, Berneroy Fine Calvados is just what I was looking for with smooth, crisp apple aroma. I’m not crazy with Calvados with heavy oak or vanilla notes, because that’s all you end up tasting. Now add this liquid to the apples as it cooks in the skillet, (there is no need to flambé this!) you get a delicious and elegant side dish.

Honey-Dijon Sauce That Will Make Porkchops Even Better!

Tasty sauce smothered on top of porkchops will elevate its flavors at least ten fold. It’s easy to make, only takes three simple ingredients and porkchops simply is not the same without it! All you need are:

  • One Clove of Garlic
  • Honey
  • Whole Grain Dijon Mustard

Whisk the three ingredients together and spread it on top of the pork when they’re about done cooking in the skillet. That’s all you need to do. I made porkchops without this sauce, and while it was still very good, the version cooked with this tangy, garlicky-sweet sauce was an absolute gem! Like apples, Dijon mustard, honey, and garlic go soo good with pork!

Frenched Center Cut, Bone-In Pork Chops

When I make this dish, I always choose Frenched center cut, bone-in pork that are 1 – 1 ½ inch thick. If you never heard of the term “Frenched”, it means meat and fat have been removed from the end of rib chop. It’s a technique used to expose part of the bone for presentation purposes. Thick pork chops are perfect for pan-searing, and bone-in meat always has more flavor than boneless version and I’m all about flavor!

Tips for Perfectly Cooked Pork Chops

To get perfectly cooked pork chops:

  • Score the meat first! – Use a small knife to make slits (diamond pattern) on both sides. Scoring allow the meat to cook evenly, and ensure you won’t end up with tough and dry pork chops! I score my chicken for Chicken Parmesan, and it’s always soo tender and moist!
  • Use large shallow iron skillet and pan-sear pork chops over medium-high heat – After you turn over the pork chops once, you can turn off the heat and place cover on the skillet. Iron skillet retains heat so well that your pork can continue to cook with the heat turned off. You have beautiful pork chops ready in less than 15 minutes!

Time for Dinner!

So this impressive, delicious plate of food was accomplished in less than 35 minutes! I cooked this for dinner on a weekend, but this is totally do-able during busy week nights too. If you want additional sides, try sautéed mushrooms, or how about rice pilaf or even a small salad? Either way, everyone will be completely full, happy and satisfied!

Garlicky Honey-Dijon Pork Chops

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time22 minutes
Servings: 3


For Garlic Honey-Dijon Sauce

  • 2 tbsp whole grain dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 clove garlic, grated

Pork Chops

  • 3 frenched center cut, bone-in pork chops
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • several sprigs of fresh thyme

For Sautéed Apples

  • 3 honey crisp apples, cored and sliced 3/4" – 1" thick
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 shots of calvados


Garlic Honey-Dijon Sauce

  • In a small bowl, combine dijon mustard, honey, grated garlic. Whisk together ingredients and set it aside.

Pork Chops

  • Blot excess moisture off of pork with a paper towel. Score the meat in diamond pattern using a small knife and sprinkle with salt.
  • Heat large shallow iron skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Once olive oil is sizzling, place pork chops in the skillet and cook one side for 6-7 minutes or until golden brown crust forms at the bottom. Using kitchen tongs sear the fat on the side of pork as well.
  • Turn over pork chops and add fresh thyme to the skillet, place cover over the skillet then turn off heat. Once the sizzling die down, take the cover off and spread dijon-honey sauce on top of pork chops. Place cover over the skillet again and let the pork chops cook with heat turned off for 2-3 more minutes.
  • Insert small knife to the pork and if pink juices do not come out, pork is done cooking. If not, then turn the heat back on and cook pork chops for additional 2 minutes over medium heat.

Sautéed Apples with Calvados

  • Heat skillet over medium heat and add butter. Once butter is melted add apple slices and sauté for 6-7 minutes or until apples are tender but not mushy.
  • Turn down heat to low and add calvados slowly to the apples and cook for additional 2-3 minutes. Serve with pork chops.

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