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Pan-Roasted Pork Chops with Baked Beans and Agrodolce

This flavorful pork recipe from chef Hugh Acheson, author of "A New Turn in the South," shows the versatility of cast-iron cookware. You can transfer the skillet from the stove top to the oven easily to finish the cooking process.

Photography: Rob Tannenbaum

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, March 2012


  • 2 cups apple juice
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup sorghum syrup or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 6 (1 1/2-inch-thick) center-cut pork loin chops, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Baked Beans
  • 6 tablespoons Agrodolce


  1. Place apple juice, 3 cups water, 1/4 cup salt, sorghum, 3 tablespoons pepper, and cinnamon in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer; simmer until salt has dissolved, and remove from heat. Let brine cool completely.

  2. Place pork chops in brine and transfer to refrigerator; refrigerate for 24 hours. Remove pork chops from brine and pat dry; discard brine.

  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  4. Heat olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until warm but not smoking. Season pork chops with salt and pepper and, working in batches if necessary, carefully add to pan. Cook, turning, until a nice brown crust forms on chops, about 3 minutes per side.

  5. Return all chops to skillet (if working in batches) and transfer skillet to oven; cook until no longer pink in the center, about 8 minutes. Transfer pork chops to serving plates; divide beans among plates and spoon 1 tablespoon agrodolce over each. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.

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