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Ah, pork chops – hubby’s favorite! So I try to surprise him with a special twist on them from time to time. I love it when I find meals that both myself AND my family can enjoy. And this sauce is versatile, a rich balance of onions, sweet pineapple juice and the tangy bite of cranberries. It’s a super easy dish too – add some roasted sweet potatoes and wilted greens, and you’ve got a compete meal. Like our Shiitake Salmon Fried Rice recipe, this dish will quickly become a family favorite! And it too, takes about 30 minutes start to finish to make. Win!
The key to perfectly cooked pork chops is to start them on the stove and finish them in the oven. Searing on the stove imparts that magical flavor to chops, making the fat along the edges melt like butter in your mouth. Delicious!
If fresh cranberries are no longer available, frozen will work equally well. You will have plenty of sauce with this recipe, so the number of chops can easily be doubled, if you’re cooking for, say, four instead of two.
This dish is also a great Whole30 option, especially for those who follow the AIP diet.
I want decadence without fuss, and these pork chops with a simple pineapple cranberry sauce fit the bill. You could just as easily serve them for a family meal as you could for a dinner party. I like that. Versatility is what it’s all about! Especially for those of us who are following the Autoimmune Paleo diet. If you’re new to it, my post covers everything you need to get started, from resources to guides.
What You’ll Need for This Recipe:
- cast iron skillet – the only pans we use (partially because I’m not ready to invest in others, but mainly because they are amazing. They impart a fabulous flavor to food)
- gelatin – this is not the same as collagen peptides. For the purposes of this recipe, you want the gelatin to thicken the sauce
- honey – to sweeten and thicken. Raw is always best (even though it is heated in this recipe, the process is very unlike the mechanical process of pasteurization and filtration non-raw honey undergoes, which kills any of its benefits – read more here)
- appropriate cooking fat – I like using tallow. Duck fat, coconut oil, avocado are all good as well!
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Pork Chops with Pineapple Cranberry Sauce (AIP / Paleo / Whole30)
Seared, buttery pork chops accompanied by a tangy-sweet pineapple cranberry sauce that's AIP Paleo + Whole30 = LOVE!
- 2 Tbsp room temperature fat, divided
- 1 onion chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 cups cranberries
- 1.5 cups pineapple juice
- 1 tsp gelatin
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 2-4 pork chops
Preheat oven to 400. Heat pan over medium high heat and remove chops from fridge. Sprinkle with sea salt.
Chop the onion and mince the garlic.
In large saucepan add 1 Tbsp of fat and cook onion over medium heat till soft, then add garlic and cook several moments more till fragrant.
Add cranberries and pineapple juice and gelatin. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cook for about 15 minutes. After 15 minutes or so, remove about a cup's worth of sauce and blend using either an immersion or regular blender. Return to sauce and stir well.
While simmering make pork chops. Add remaining Tbsp fat to hot pan, swirling to coat. Sear chops over medium high to high heat: place them in pan and allow them to sit for several minutes. You want a beautiful browning happening. If it gets a bit smoky that's also ok. Now, using tongs, turn chops on side, holding for a minute or two to allow the fat to sear (this is what gives it its buttery flavor). Do the same with the other side, then flip over and transfer to oven.
Cook for 6-8 minutes, until internal temp reaches 140 - 145.
Remove 1 cup of your sauce and blend, either using immersion or regular blender. Return to pot and add honey. Continue to simmer for 5 minutes more.
Serve immediately, alongside the sauce. These would go great with some roasted sweet potatoes or root veggies! Enjoy friends!