applesauce pork chops with polenta

Applesauce Pork Chops with Polenta

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Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 45+ mins

Skill level: easy, but give yourself some time.

Cooking method: stove top with cast iron skillet and large pot with cover.

Serves: 6



8 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 yellow onion, chopped 

2 cups stone-ground polenta/grits (the coarser the better!)

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth 

2 cups half & half Dash of cayenne, or to taste 

1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack or other cheese 

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pork Chops:

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil 

Six 1/2-inch-thick bone in pork chops 

Salt and freshly ground black pepper 

2 cups Applesauce (get the good stuff)

1/2 cup dry white wine 

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar 


For the Polenta:

Step 1 – In a large pot over medium heat, cook the bacon and onions until the bacon is chewy and the onions are translucent about 1 minute. Pour in the grits and add the chicken broth. Stir together and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 40 minutes. Add half & half and cayenne, stirring them into the grits. Cover the pot and keep cooking over very low heat, stirring occasionally to keep them from sticking, until the grits are tender but still have a bite to them, another 20 to 30 minutes.

Step 2 – Just before serving, stir in the cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.

For the pork chops: 

Step 1 – Melt the butter with the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Add the pork chops to the skillet and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. (They’ll finish cooking in the skillet later.) Remove the pork chops to a plate.

Step 2 – Put the skillet back on the heat, add the Applesauce and pour in the wine and vinegar. Cook until the liquid reduces by half, about 5 minutes. Pour in the maple syrup, stir it in and allow it to come to a bubble. Add the pork chops to the skillet, reduce the heat too low, cover and cook for another 15 or 20 minutes.

Step 3 – To serve, spoon a generous helping of grits onto a plate. Lay a pork chop on top of the grits, and then spoon the apples over the top. Be sure to get a little extra pan sauce onto the plate.

grandpa’s thoughts:

First off, polenta is such a magical food. Also known as grits or cornmeal. Whatever you want to call them, just make some. It can be creamy and light, dense and cheesy, or even firm enough to fry or grill. I love polenta! For a side dish, we often think of potatoes (fried, mashed, or baked). But you should try making some polenta. It’s super versatile and can be prepared in so many different ways. When you lay the pork chops over the polenta then drizzle it all with the applesauce you have a winning combination. A definite grandpa crowd pleaser.


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