Hard Cider Marinated Pork Chops with Sautéed Kale and Seasoned Rice

Michigan + Fall = apples everywhere. Here is my #sundaysupper, utilizing apples in a few different and fun ways. The pork marinade is inspired by good guy Justin Warner’s Bulgogi marinade, which gives this dish a Korean spin, which is weird. But good weird. Served with sauteed kale and sticky rice, this recipe is classic Fall comfort food. —Jim

Serves: 6
Prep time: 4 hrs
Cook time: 45 min

I’ll be patiently waiting by the phone for my Pure Michigan commercial feature…

Shop it:

2 pounds boneless pork chops
1/2 cup gochujang paste
2 cloves of garlic
12 ounces hard apple cider
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon dried sage
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons whole black peppercorn
1 bunch kale (about 1-1.5 pounds)
1 cooking apple (Gala, Fuji, Golden Delicious)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup walnuts chopped
1 Fresh apple (Braeburn, Granny Smith, Pink Lady), about a pound
2 cups medium grain white rice
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons table salt
1 tablespoon caraway seeds

Make it:

2-4 hours before dinner: marinade pork: Combine gochujang, cider, vinegar, garlic, sage, 2 teaspoons each salt and whole peppercorns. Reserve half for later use, place rest into ziptop plastic bag with pork. Mix to combine, marinade for 2-4 hours.
45 minutes before dinner: Wash, de-stem, and tear kale leaves into bite size pieces.
Dice the fresh apple, tossing in a small amount of apple cider vinegar to prevent browning. Set aside.
Dice the cooking apple into small cubes (no need to peel).
Add 3 cups water to a covered saucepan, bringing to a boil. Once water is boiling, add rice and reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes (set a timer!) until water is absorbed.
Pour reserved marinade into small saucepot on low heat. Simmer for ~15 minutes to reduce.
Put grill/grill pan/however you intend to cook the pork chops on medium heat to preheat.
In a large skillet, add 3 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add the cooking apple to skillet and sauté for 3 minutes or until the apple begins to soften.
Add the kale leaves to skillet and sauté over medium heat until the leaves begin to wilt, keeping the kale moving as to not burn, 3-5 minutes.
Once kale has wilted and diminished in size, toss with 3 tablespoons cider vinegar and chopped walnuts. Season with salt and pepper.
After rice has simmered for 15 minutes, remove rice from heat and let sit covered for 5-10 minutes.
Remove pork form marinade. Grill/sear for ~5 minutes per side or to your desired level of doneness.
Combine 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, and caraway seeds into microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, then pour over rice and fold in.
Plate dish, topping with fresh apples and reduced marinade

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2 thoughts on “Hard Cider Marinated Pork Chops with Sautéed Kale and Seasoned Rice”

  1. Made this for thanksgiving and it was delicious! Marinating the pork in hard cider gives it a tangy flavor and makes it very tender. The sauce is spicy on its own but once you drizzle it over the pork and apples it adds just the right amount of heat. And the kale ties it all together with some earthy green healthy flavors.

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