The Proof Is In The Porkchops

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Whether it’s a dinner party or a weekday meal at home, pork roasts and chops are always a solid autumnal choice for your menu.

Serve roasted Yukon gold potatoes, baked potatoes, or sweet potato chips—which won’t leave you feeling guilty because they are baked. Start with a tossed green salad, serve steamed broccoli or cauliflower as the vegetable side dish, and fresh pears and cheese for dessert.

Bon appétit!

Seeded Pork Roast With Fennel And Cabbage(Serves 6 to 8)3½-pound top sirloin roast pork, tied

2 large cloves garlic, slivered

1 tablespoon fennel seeds, crushed

1 tablespoon caraway seeds, crushed

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, crushed

Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Olive oil, for rubbing meat and drizzling on vegetables

1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced

1 large onion, thinly sliced

1/2 small head of cabbage, thinly sliced

1 cup dry vermouthTo prepare:One day ahead, poke slits here and there into the pork roast.

Stuff garlic slivers into each slit.

Add red pepper flakes, fennel, caraway and poppy seeds to a mini-chop, spice grinder or cement mortar and pestle.

Process, until seeds are broken and crushed, but not a fine powder.

Mix the seeds with salt and black pepper.

Rub the meat with olive oil.

Press seed mixture into the meat.

Cover with plastic wrap.

Refrigerate overnight.

Bring the roast to room temperature 1 hour before roasting.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Scatter fennel, onion and cabbage on the bottom of a large roasting pan.

Drizzle with olive oil.

Place the fat side of the pork down in a large skillet over high heat.

Sear until brown on all sides.

Transfer the meat to the roasting pan with fat side up.

Deglaze the skillet with vermouth, scraping up the bits in the bottom of the pan.

Pour the liquid around the meat.

Roast, until the meat is a dark brown and an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the center registers 135°F, about 1 hour.

Transfer roast to a cutting board.

Let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Spoon vegetables from the pan onto a platter.

Arrange meat slices on top.

Serve at once with au jus from the pan.Pork Chops And Apples(Serves 4)4 1-inch-thick natural pork chops with bone, trimmed and edges scored

1/2 teaspoon rosemary, crushed

1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt, to taste

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, sliced thin

2 large cloves garlic, minced

2 crisp green apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks

1/2 cup apple cider or juice, as neededTo prepare:Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Pat pork chops dry with paper towels.

Cut the edges of the membrane about 1 inch apart.

Rub both sides of the chops with a little oil.

Combine rosemary, salt, pepper, thyme and paprika in a small bowl.

Rub both sides of the pork chops with the spice mixture.

Sprinkle 1 side of each chop with a little sugar, but not on the bone.

Place the sugared side of the chops down in a large nonstick skillet, bony sides facing the center of the pan.

Set the skillet on the stove over medium heat.

Cook, until light brown, about 8 to 9 minutes on the first side.

Adjust the heat so that the chops sizzle in the pan.

Turn chops over.

Cover the skillet.

Reduce the heat to low.

Cook, until the center of each chop registers about 130°F on an instant-read meat thermometer, about 5 minutes longer.

Transfer the chops to a plate.

Coat the bottom of the same skillet with oil.

Place over moderate heat.

Add onion and garlic.

Sauté, until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the apples and apple cider (or juice).

Bring to a boil.

Transfer the apple mixture to the bottom of a heavy casserole that will hold the chops in one layer.

Add chops and the accumulated juices from the plate.

Cover the casserole.

Bake until apples and onions are tender and the chops are hot, about 20 minutes.

Serve chops on top of the apples and onions.Baked Sweet Potato Chips(Yields about 6 cups)2 sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced on benriner (1/8-inch thick)

5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to tasteTo prepare:Preheat the oven to 275°F.

Place racks on 4 baking sheets.

Quickly slice the potatoes with benriner.

Toss the slices in a bowl, immediately, with olive oil, making sure each slice is coated with oil to keep them from turning black.

Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Toss well.

Arrange slices in a single layer on the racks.

Bake, rotating the sheets, until the chips are deep golden brown, about 1 hour.

Remove from the oven.

The chips will crisp up when they cool.

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