Spiced Tomahawk Pork Chops with Apple Butter

Depending on where you are at in grilling season, you may not be able to utilize your grill. With that in mind, we have included instructions for cooking these pork chops in a skillet so that you can make this recipe any day of the year. No one really wants to grill in the rain, or worse, the snow. Well, we do, but maybe you are not as crazy as us.

What are Tomahawk Pork Chops?

These are not your ordinary bone-in pork chops. Tomahawks include a large piece of the rib protruding from the chop, resembling a tomahawk axe. You may have seen a similar cut with rib eye steak! Get to know a local butcher and they will carve these up special for you.

These guys are awesome. Sometimes when we have friends over, or you are just looking to make an impression, it is fun to get a visual reaction to the food you put on the table. No question, flavor comes before visual appeal, but these tomahawk chops make for a great centerpiece and something everyone will snap a picture of for Instagram.

And Apple Butter?

Myka Cellars Tasting Room and Kitchen is located in Apple Hill and we have great access to the most amazing apple products. Apple Butter can be found in many grocery stores or can be made in a slow cooker – it is amazing and you should try it.

Apple butter is just super concentrated, super smooth applesauce. It is cooked longer and slower, which gives it that gorgeous caramel color and rich apple flavor, but the ingredients are pretty much the same. Make it yourself, buy it from a specialty shop - we don't judge.

Wine Pairing

When we think pork, we go straight to Pinot Noir. It is a great choice for nearly any pork dish and you wouldn't go wrong here with it either. They share this sweet, sweet succulence and aroma undertones. When it is bright in acidity, with medium tannins and a velvety texture, Pinot is a great compliment to pork. By the book, go Pinot Noir. You'll be happy, everyone will love it.

But we don't always go by the book, do we? This is a robust dish. The harissa and herbs bring out deeper flavor. We want a robust wine to stand up to it. In our tasting room and part of our Collective release is a beautiful Reserve Cabernet that is just delightful on its own, but also seems to bring out a different level of happiness with this dish.

Recipe:

1.5 pounds thick cut, bone-in pork chops

kosher salt + black pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon harissa paste

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

Instructions:

Season both sides of the pork chops generously with salt and pepper.

Mix the harissa paste, olive oil, basil and rosemary together in a small bowl.

Rub the harissa mixture all over both sides of the pork chops and set aside.

Heat an outdoor grill to high.

Once hot, place the pork chops on the grill. Grill for 4-5 minutes per side. Total cooking time will depend on thickness of each pork chop.

Remove pork chops from the grill, place on a cutting board, cover with foil and let rest for at least 5 minutes.

Pro Tip: To serve, use a nice chef's knife to slice the chop into strips, but leave them connected to the bone. Visually this looks great and practically this makes it much easier for your guests to dive into. 

sliced pork chop


Cooking in a Skillet

This is best on the grill, as so many things are, however, if the weather is not working for you or you just aren’t feeling the grill tonight, you can easily make this recipe in a skillet. Follow steps 1 and 2 as per the recipe instruction, then continue as follows:

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook for 4-6 minutes per side, or until well seared and with an internal temperature of 145F-150F.

Let the pork chops rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing into them

Keep in mind, you can also sear them first and finish them in the oven at 375F for a few more minutes. This is a great method that we often employ with thicker cuts of meat like steaks and these beastly chops.

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