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Five Spice Pork Chops With Apples

By Chef John Ash

Five-spice powder is a Chinese spice mix and typically contains star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Szechuan pepper and fennel seeds which are ground together to make an aromatic seasoning. Best used on fatty meats such as duck or pork five-spice powder is available in most markets, but it’s also easy to make and better when freshly ground. The roasted apples can be left chunky or mashed into a sauce. Pair this dish with the fragrant and spicy Russian River Pinot Noir.

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    Serves 6

    Total Time 3-4 hours

    Prep Time 2-3 hours

    Difficulty Level Medium


    1 tbsp peeled and very finely minced fresh ginger (for the lamb)

    2 tsp very finely minced garlic (for the lamb)

    2 tsp five-spice powder (for the lamb)

    3 tbsp olive oil (for the lamb)

    1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper (for the lamb)

    6 t-bone pork chops cut 3/4 inch thick (for the lamb)

    Sea salt (for the lamb)

    4 lb tart sweet apples

    2 tbsp lemon juice (for the roasted apples)

    4 tbsp unsalted butter (for the roasted apples)

    Honey or sugar to taste, optional (for the roasted Apples)

    1/2 tsp kosher salt (for the roasted apples)

    1 tbsp finely chopped candied ginger (for the roasted apples)


    1. For the lamb: In a small bowl sir together the ginger, garlic, 5-spice powder, 2 tablespoons oil and the black pepper. Rub the mixture evenly over both side of the chops, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

    2. For the lamb: Prepare a medium hot fire in a charcoal or gas grill or place a ridged grill pan over medium high heat on the stove. Season the chops liberally with salt on both sides.

    3. For the lamb: Place them on the grill or in the grill pan and cook turning once until nicely marked and golden brown on both sides and barely pink in the center when cut into with a knife, 5-6 minutes on each side depending on their thickness.

    4. For the lamb: Transfer chops to a warmed platter and let them rest for 3- 5 minutes. They’ll continue to cook from the residual heat. Serve with the roasted apples or apple sauce garnished with fresh herb sprigs.

    5. For the apples: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Quarter the apples then peel and core them. Cut the quarters into 1-inch chunks. Place in a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice.

    6. For the apples: Melt the butter in a large oven proof skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter begins to brown, add the apples, a bit of honey if using and salt and saute them just until the edges being to color, 3 to 4 minutes.

    7. For the apples: Stir in the candied and place pan in the oven. Roast until the apples are soft and lightly caramelized, 20 minutes or so. Serve as is or turn into a sauce by using a potato masher for a chunky sauce or pulse in a food processor for a smooth sauce.

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