Apple Cider Sage Pork Chops with Caramelized Apples {Grand Budapest Hotel}

{The Grand Budapest Hotel}

Not going to lie, this is one of my favorite films nominated this year. Everything about it is oddly entertaining – the colors, the plot, the humor… It’s not your typical comedy, but then again, Wes Anderson isn’t your typical director. The film is about Gustave, a legendary concierge at a famous hotel in a far away mythical country, and Zero Mustafa, the lobby boy who turns out to be Gustave’s most trusted friend.

Here’s a review that most appropriately paints a picture of “The Grand Budapest Hotel”: “In this film, director Wes Anderson creates his own universe, full of colourful characters, old-world charm and witty one-liners. The nice thing about creating your own universe is that you can make it look perfect. Every shot, every little detail and every set is flawless. From lead character Gustave H.’s purple jacket to the title of the newspaper announcing the war (The Trans-Alpine Yodel) – Anderson has given thought and attention to everything. The film moves forward at a breakneck speed. You have to be very alert in order not to miss something. The plot is not always very easy to follow, and the dialogue is fast. And there are the great camera angles and the wonderful detailed sets to pay attention to.” And truly, that makes this film much more fun than most.

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” has been nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Cinematography.

{Apple Cider Sage Pork Chops with Caramelized Apples}

Serves 4-6

I struggled to think of a meal pairing for this great movie. It’s eccentric, and quick humor didn’t immediately generate any foodie thoughts. And then it hit me. The main plot point of the film revolves around this painting entitled “Boy with Apple” (remember, I warned you several posts back about the puns). Voila! A perfect punny dish to go with this funny film.

Ingredients:

  • 4 bone-in pork loin chops
  • 2 Garlic Herb Sauté Express® Sauté Starter squares
  • 1–2 tablespoons fresh sage chopped, according to preference
  • 1 pound apples peeled, cored and sliced in 1/4-inch slices
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  • In a large sauté pan or cast iron skillet, melt the Sauté Express® Sauté Starter over medium heat until it begins to bubble. Pat the pork chops dry on both sides. Add the meat and cook for 3–5 minutes, or until browned.
  • Turn and cook the other side until browned and the pork is cooked through (minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees F). While cooking, brush some of the Sauté Express® Sauté Starter on the side of the pork facing up.
  • In another skillet melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sugar to the butter and cook for 1 minute, or until it begins to melt. Add the apples and sauté over medium heat until the apples are browned and tender. This should take about 10–15 minutes.
  • In the pan with the pork chops, add the apple cider and cook over medium heat until the liquid is reduced by about half. Add the cream, bring to a boil and allow it to bubble for a few minutes until the sauce is slightly thickened. Sprinkle with fresh sage and season with salt and pepper if desired.
  • If serving immediately, spoon the caramelized apples on top of the pork in the pan. Alternatively, you can pass the apples separately at the table and portion them out directly on the dinner plates.

I don’t know if I should be proud or slightly embarrassed, by I ate every single solitary bite of this dish. A truly delicious meal for any apple lover! Enjoy, and go see what “Grand Budapest Hotel” and the apples are all about! Happy eating!!

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