Pork and apples go together magnificently, but I hate store bought applesauce because Ew. To make my own, I cored and smoked apples filled with spicy honey, and then simmered them with beef broth and brandy until soft. The result is a sweet, savory, and spicy accompaniment perfect for anything from pork chops to tenderloin.
Shake says: Theres not really a whole lot of ways to go wrong with a drink with this. Personally I really enjoy either a great lager or a Napoleon’s Overture.
Special Equipment: Apple corer and/or melon baller, unless you are REALLY good with your knives, smoker (if you don’t have a smoker you can bake them in the oven on the lowest setting)
4 large apples
Saucy Note: Use apples that are sweet and you enjoy eating. I used Braeburn, since they are my favorite along with Honey Crisp and Fuji apples. I thought I hated everything apple as a kid because Red Delicious apples are a misnomer and apple juice boxes grossed me out. I apparently have just always been a snob.
Frank’s Spicy Honey Garlic Sauce Saucy Variation: If you’re not into spice or you can’t/won’t/don’t want to buy the Frank’s, a cinnamon stick in each apple makes for a more traditional style of sauce-I made it for Christmas dinner last year and it was amazing.
32 oz. Beef Broth
¼ cup Bourbon
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. butter
Preheat the smoker or oven on the lowest setting.
Wash the apples. Partially core the apples, so that there is a well for liquid in the center and the bottom remains intact. I use the apple corer to drill into the apple about halfway, and then I switch to the melon baller (mine is two sided, so I use the smaller end) to scoop out the center without causing a leak. If you only have a corer, a very small spoon can help.
Once all the apples are cored, fill each center about halfway with equal parts Frank’s and honey, or just honey. Sprinkle a pinch of salt in each well.
Place apples on a baking sheet if using the oven, or place directly on grill plate of smoker. Smoke for 2-3 hours, or bake for 1 hour, until slightly tender and brown.
When the apples are ready, remove them to a cutting board and roughly chop into smaller pieces, removing stems and any remaining seeds. Mince garlic.
Melt butter over medium-low heat in a large, heavy bottomed pan. When the butter is done foaming, add the garlic and stir slowly for 30-40 seconds, until garlic is fragrant. Deglaze with a splash of bourbon, and then add the apple pieces and remaining bourbon. Stir until the smell of alcohol is gone, and add 1 cup of beef broth, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a low simmer and cover. Simmer, stirring and checking the moisture level every ten minutes. Add more beef broth as necessary if the apples start to look dry. As the apples start to break down, use a wooden spoon to mash them up. Keep adding beef broth as necessary and simmer until apples are a soft, chunky texture and there is no excessive liquid remaining. Adjust seasoning as necessary with salt and sugar. Serve in a warmed bowl or as a plated garnish.