Pork Chops with Thyme-Scented Apples over Cheddar Polenta
- 3 cups whole milk
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup polenta (cornmeal)
- 3 oz. sharp Cheddar, coarsely grated (about 1 cup)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 4 1-inch-thick boneless center-cut pork chops (about 1-1/2 lb.)
- 1 cup apple cider
- 2 tart apples, cored and sliced into 16 wedges each
- 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
- Light brown sugar
For even creamier polenta, replace 1 cup of the milk with heavy cream.
- In a 3-quart saucepan, bring the milk and a large pinch of salt to a simmer over medium heat.
- Slowly whisk in the polenta, reduce the heat to medium low, and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes.
- Stir in 1 cup water and cook, stirring occasionally, until the polenta is thick and creamy, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, stir in the cheese, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat.
- Season the pork with salt and cook, flipping once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in a chop close to, but not touching, the bone registers 140°F, about 8 minutes total.
- Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
- Add the apple cider, apples, and thyme to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples begin to soften, about 8 minutes.
- Add brown sugar to taste.
- Serve the apples and sauce over the pork chops and polenta.