Why do People Put Apple Sauce on Pork Chops?
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There are old stories of English kingdoms which would allow their pigs to roam the orchards, eating any unharvested apples that might have fallen during a period in which the caretaker was away.
Then there are the flavors that apples can infuse into the meat, depending on the apple type; granny apples have a nice tart, for example.
The main reason is that apples and pork just seem to complement each other regarding flavor palettes. The Thing is, there are more ways to use apples when cooking pork, not just apple sauce. In this article, we will discuss this pair of ingredients.
Is this Common?
Yes, very common. In fact, during the reign of Henry II of England, sugar had become a luxury, but the desire for a nice, sweet, and savory dish led the cooks to the orchards and infused sweet, tart apples into the sauce as well as the pig’s diet during life.
In fact, during the running time of The Brady Bunch, there is a scene in which Peter Brady discusses Pork chops and apple sauce.
There are recipes that will use the apples in different forms than sauce, such as a honey apple glaze for barbequed pork chops or a nice, caramelized apple slice or two to garnish the top of a recently cooked chop.
What does the Apple Sauce do?
To use a metaphor, there are going to be certain burritos that are best smothered in a nice green chili or similar. When it comes to the apple sauce on pork chops, it acts like one of these chili sauces and is used to smother the chop.
This will cap the pork chop, allowing for the grill or oven to cook the flavors of the sauce in the meat or as a nice finishing garnish when the chops have been cooked.
As mentioned above, apples and pork complement each other. In addition, apple sauces have a wonderful ability to inject various other flavors along with the sweet, tart, or savory of the natural apple.
How does it Taste?
The theme throughout this article is the complementary nature of apples and pork. The flavors of the combination can be simplified to a nice sweet, and savory. Apples’ natural sugars pop when put together with the sweeter meats of good pork.
The fun part comes in when you begin to add seasonings and use other cooking techniques for the apples.
Unlike citrus fruits, apple’s lack the citric acids that help break down bonds and open up the meat, allowing for the flavors to penetrate deeper into the pork chop, but they will have some natural acids of their own that do the job.
How much Apple Sauce should You Add?
This is going to be a factor dependent on each recipe, meaning that there are going to be different amounts needed for different sauces or means of preparing the apples.
Apple sauce can either be a lighter consistency, used as a glaze or be spooned on when plating the dish, or as a thicker sauce which is meant to cover the meat in a blanket, to which it can literally become cooked into the pork and infuse that sweet through the chop.
To be forward, each sauce will require a different volume or density to work with. Sometimes you need to cook an apple-based sauce to get it just right; sometimes, you just need to simply use an apple slice.
Do you Add it Before or after Making Pork Chops?
No two recipes are made the same way, leading us to the freedom of cooking apples and pork chops together. In one such recipe, Chef Ramsay uses a caramelized apple sauce from freshly sliced apples, then uses them to lift the flavor of the pork and uses them as a side.
Another recipe calls for a rich applesauce to be drizzled over the top of a pan-seared or grilled pork chop as a finishing touch; other recipes will have that same sauce added before placing the pork chops in an oven or open-fire cooking pit.
Final Thoughts on Why do People put Apple Sauce on Pork Chops
Pork and apples have been considered complementary ingredients for any dish or meal for over a few decades.
Nobility would allow their sows to roam the apple orchards, then naturally became part of the animal and infused into the meat, which then also helps with the flavor combination between the chop and the sauce.
Pork chops have a nice versatility when it comes to recipe creativity. They are not relatively difficult to cook and can be grilled, pan-seared, baked, or prepared over an open fire. Apples are usually easy to find and just as easy to prepare.