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Apple-Bourbon Brined and Smoked Pork Chops

Lisa Lotts

Apple-Bourbon Brined and Smoked Pork Chops


Low and slow or grilled in a flash, 10 pork recipes that use (practically) the whole hog

Pork is the ultimate team player when it comes to dinner recipes. With its versatile, easy-going flavor, pork can compliment sweet notes from cider, be paired with heartier ingredients from rutabagas to pizza toppings, or shine all its own for a truly Southern meal.  

Here are 10 pork recipes perfect for any time you need some pig-powder at the table.

Apple-Bourbon Brined and Smoked Pork Chops
For the juiciest, most flavorful and tender pork chops, you can’t beat a two-hour brine and a twenty-minute smoke. To complete your meal, try some traditional green beans or some buttery mashed sweet potatoes.
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Cider-Braised Pork Shoulder
A twist on a traditional braise, this wintertime meal uses apple cider instead of wine to get all of the tasty brown bits from the bottom of the pot, adding a tart and sweet note that pairs perfectly with fall-apart pork shoulder. Don't go throwing the braising liquid away once the shoulder's done — reduce down the remaining liquid while the pork is resting for a flavorful sauce. 
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Drunken Pork Tenderloin with Bourbon Brown Sugar Glaze
Marinated in a teriyaki-bourbon (yes, bourbon) mixture, this smoky-sweet tenderloin recipe keeps its tenderness thanks to a glaze made from the reserved marinade. For a complete dinner, serve it alongside some stone-ground herbed grits, which will complement this recipe’s rich flavors.
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Pan-Roasted Pork Chops With Lady Peas and Tomatoes
This one-skillet meal is just the thing when you're looking for a comforting and healthy weeknight meal — the whole dish comes together in just 30 minutes. Need a little something extra to go with it? We recommend a side of rice or a fresh, crunchy salad
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Pork Tenderloin with Red Cabbage and Apples
This practically one-pot meal is a hearty and relatively healthy quick weeknight dish that will satisfy everyone at the table. To make the most of your cooking time, prep and cook up the cabbage and apples while the pork is resting.
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Virginia Willis' Skillet Pork Chops with Cabbage and Sweet Potatoes
This quick-as-can-be skillet supper comes together in a little over an hour and is so easy to make, we promise it’ll be one of your new go-to weeknight dinners. The trick to getting the most out of these chops is a two-minute sear on the stovetop before transfering them to the oven; this way, they'll stay tender and juicy, just the way we like them.   
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Instant Pot Barbecue Pork Shoulder
No knives are required for this crazy easy barbecue pork recipe — after simply seasoning the meat and combining everything in the Instant Pot, you'll get ultra-tender pork that practically shreds itself. Hold onto the braising liquid to add to just about anything for a meaty, smoky punch of flavor; stir it into grits or mashed potatoes, or cook it down into a lip-smacking sauce. 
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Nana's Rutabagas with Pork
This recipe takes time, but the end results — fall-apart pork and flavorful, hearty rutabagas — are well worth it. Tranferring the recipe to a slow cooker on low heat when the rutabagas are added will take your mind off of cooking this one-pot meal overnight. 
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Mom's Meatloaf
When you’re craving a little piece of home, look no further than this easy-as-can-be, no-fail recipe. The key to a successful meatloaf is not overmixing the double dose of ground pork and beef. By working it as little as possible, you’ll end up with a soft and juicy meatloaf.
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Cast Iron Barbecue Pork Pizza
The quickest and most delicious way to make a pizza even more tempting is to top it off with tender, fall-apart pulled pork. For the best crust, get your skillet ripping hot and prep all of your ingredients ahead of time so you can build your pizza lickety split. In this case, we're talking easy Instant Pot pulled pork and all the fixins,' plus plenty of melty cheese to hold it all together.
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Photo credit (Cider-Braised Pork Shoulder, Pork Tenderloin with Red Cabbage and Apples, Instant Pot Barbecue Pork Shoulder, Cast Iron Barbecue Pork Pizza): Ramona King
Photo credit (Virginia Willis' Skillet Pork Chops with Cabbage and Sweet Potatoes): Virginia Willis
Photo credit (Nana's Rutabagas with Pork): Kate Williams

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Dena Rayess is a recipe editor and cookbook author based in San Francisco. She enjoys exploring new foodways in and around the Bay Area and beyond, and has been known to whip up a mean house cocktail at dinner parties.

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