Ok, now just so you know…being Irish and caring a LOT about how well my food is presented and tastes while trying to make sure that it’s done correctly…this is one of my FAVORITE dishes (to eat and to cook). Make these for your next gathering or family meal and you’ll be sure to impress.
Kerrigold Irish Butter (unsalted)
4 pork chops (or bacon chops if you’re lucky enough to be near an Irish butcher)
2 cooking apples – peeled and diced (I use Fuji apples, but if you like more tartness, you can try Granny Smith)
3 cloves of fresh garlic – minced
2/3 cup hard cider (I love using Magner’s Irish Dry Cider if I can find it, but any will do)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp whole grain mustard (I use Lakeshore Whole Grain Mustard with Irish Whiskey)
1 1/2 tsp sugar
Salt and Pepper
Russet potatoes – peeled and cubed
Heavy Cream or milk (the heavy cream will be a little more rich)
Scallions (green onions) – finely chopped
For the Chops:
In a cast iron skillet, melt a pat of the butter once the skillet is hot (on about 6 or 7 for an electric stove top). Clean and dry the chops with paper towels then season them with salt and pepper on both sides. Brown the chops in the butter until almost done; still a little pink in the middle. Set aside and keep warm.
Leave the pork drippings, or fond, in the pan and melt another pat of butter. Put the diced apples in the melted butter and cook until the apples release their juices and the juice starts to brown.
Put in the minced garlic and sugar and cook for about 60 seconds until the garlic is aromatic.
Stir in the hard cider, apple cider vinegar, mustard, thyme, tarragon, and salt and pepper. Let this boil for a few minutes until it thickens up into a saucy consistency. Stir occasionally.
Put the chops back into the sauce to finish cooking. This allows the chops to take on more of the flavor and warms them back up at the same time. Cover the chops with the sauce and apples to get the most flavor into your chops.
For the Champ Potatoes:
Put your milk or cream into a pot with the finely chopped scallions. Bring to a boil, slowly, and then turn down the heat to simmer for about 4 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let sit while the potatoes cook.
Fill a pot with salted water and put the cubed potatoes in and bring to a boil. Boil the potatoes until they can be pricked through with a fork to show that they are soft.
Mash the potatoes and stir in the warm milk/cream and scallion mixture. Stir in butter and salt/pepper to taste and serve with a pat of butter on top. Garnish with some of the green scallions.