A Festive Pork Chops recipe from Belgium, with Love!
Starches, such as bread and potatoes are the staples of the traditional Flemish diet. Meals are likely to incorporate beef, pork or chicken, although seafood is common in the northern Belgium. Beer is the national drink, but massive quantities of wine are imported regularly. In Belgium’s northern cities, popular dishes consist of mussels with French fries and “waterzooi” a broth made of meat, fish and vegetables. All through the country, French fries accompany steaks or sliced raw meat. Traditionally, butter is used in cooking rather than oil done with butter rather than oil; dairy products are also quite common. Immigration has secured a variety of “ethnic” restaurants and which is gradually transforming the eating habits of Belgian citizens.
There are many occasions for long meals, which are served, at celebrations such as weddings, funerals, and the “Holy Saint’s Days. Pastries always accompany religious and social occasions. At Christmastime, sweet bread shaped like the baby Jesus is traditional fare; at Easter, the Flemish legend of eggs being dropped in the garden by flying church bells is still told to wide-eyed children; and when visiting a new mother sugar beans are always the gift of choice.
4 pork chops, 2” thick
2 oz butter
4 large green apples, peeled and sliced
2 TBSP lemon juice
4 crushed juniper berries
salt and pepper
5 parsley sprigs
1 oz butter (to pour over chops before baking.)
Preheat oven to 375°.
Trim fat from chops and dust with salt and pepper. Brown slowly on both sides and brown very gently on both sides in butter for 13 minutes.
Arrange the browned pork chops in a shallow casserole, and drizzle with lemon juice. Add juniper berries, rosemary, parsley and dust with salt and pepper.
Arrange the apples on top of the pork chops and drizzle with melted butter.
Cover and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the chops have reached the desired level of doneness.
Serve from the casserole.