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Smothered Apple Cider Pork Chops

Once in a while, a recipe comes along in your life that is so good, you just have to make it over and over. It becomes a regular for your family or when entertaining guests. Smothered Apple Cider Pork Chops is such a recipe. Let me tell you how much we love these chops!

My mouth starts to water just looking at these pictures. Juicy, thick cut pork chops cooked and then smothered in the most delicious sweet caramelized onion, bacon, and apple cider sauce; tangy, bright, and full of flavor that tastes incredible! For the onion hater… I hate onions too. Really. I make this confession because I LOVE them in this recipe. They are delicious and I don’t feel like I’m eating onion. Seriously, this recipe is an absolute joy to cook! Smothered Apple Cider Pork Chops will make you feel like a skilled chef whipping up a masterpiece; yet with a little prep it’s super easy and fast~about 30 minutes. Your home will be filled with a mouth watering aroma that foretells of greatness to come. I am being dramatic, but it’s true! It’s hard to describe just how lovely this recipe turns out until you try it for yourself. You’ll never serve pork chops the same way again.

This recipe calls for thick cut pork chops; they should be about one-inch thick. I sometimes have difficulty finding thick chops, most are cut to just half the thickness needed. I’ve had success most times at good ol’ Walmart. I purchase the chops specifically marked “Thick cut”. Thin chops just don’t withstand the cooking time in this recipe and will over cook~ turning into the standard ‘dry as leather’ pork chop.

The other main ingredient in this recipe is the apple cider. (Btw, did you know about all the secret health benefits of eating apples and apple juice? It’s amazing!) When in season, you have lots of varieties to choose from. Go for cider that is opaque, (you can’t see through the juice) thick with apple pulp. I’ve found this creates the most exceptional flavor for this recipe. Out of season it can be near impossible to find this kind of cider. Not to fret, I turn to a supermarket staple that is always around- Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider. It does great in a pinch. Plus you can drink the rest with your meal and it makes a lovely pairing with the main dish!

My most favorite part of cooking these up is frying the bacon, onion, bay leaves and Thyme for the sauce. There is something about cooking this combination of ingredients together that sends a heavenly aroma into the air. I am a lover of fresh herbs and they are amazing in this dish. If you can’t find some sprigs of thyme at the store, use ground/powdered thyme. It will dissolve into the liquids yet still flavor the sauce well. This is one recipe that you definitely should read through entirely before starting. I like to prep all my ingredients for this recipe before I start. Doing so ensures you have a great experience with it. Enjoy!

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Smothered Apple Cider Pork Chops

  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Juicy, thick cut pork chops cooked and then smothered in the most delicious sweet caramelized onion, bacon, and apple cider sauce.


  • 4 boneless, skinless pork loin chops, about 1 inch thick
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 or 3 slices of bacon, minced
  • 1 sweet or yellow onion, halved and sliced thin
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar


  1. Pat meat dry on both sides with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 12 inch metal skillet (try to avoid non-stick for this recipe) on medium high. Brown the chops well on just one side, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  2. Add the minced bacon to the skillet and cook until fat begins to render, about 2 minutes. Mix in onion, sugar, thyme, bay leaves and a pinch of salt, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often. The onion should just be beginning to brown. Remove the lid and continue cooking and stirring often for another 5 minutes or until the onion is well browned.
  3. Gently stir in the cider, again scraping up browned bits. Nestle pork chops into the pan, browned side up. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook until center of chop registers 140 degrees, about 10 minutes.
  4. Transfer pork chops to a plate and cover with foil to rest. As it rests, return onion sauce to a simmer. Whisk together the corn starch, water and mustard, then whisk the mixture into the sauce. Continue to simmer until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprig. Stir in the vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour onion sauce over chops and serve.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: American

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  1. Hi,
    Thanks for a wonderful recipe! We loved everything about this. Perfect fall recipe. Will do again and again. Did not and would not change a thing!

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