Apples, pork, and cabbage would seem best for fall, but I confess to making this dish anytime I get a hankering for a pork chop and see Brussels sprouts in the market. The tart apple and spicy ginger give it an appealing lightness. I like to use Brussels sprouts for single-serving dishes for an obvious reason: There’s less possible waste than with a big head of cabbage.
Yield: Serves 1
1 (4-ounce) bone-in pork chop, preferably no more than ½ inch thick
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
½ Granny Smith apple
3 or 4 Brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot lobe, thinly sliced
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon mirin (Japanese cooking wine) or sherry
1 teaspoon unseasoned rice vinegar
Pat dry the pork chop with a paper towel and season generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Cut the apple in half, core, and cut it into 8 wedges. Thinly slice the wedges crosswise. Remove and discard the tough outer layer of leaves from the Brussels sprouts, cut them in halves, and cut out and discard the tough core. Thinly slice lengthwise.
Pour the oil into a large, cold cast-iron skillet, press the pork chop into the cold pan, and turn it to medium heat. When you hear the pork chop start to sizzle, after about 1 or 2 minutes, scatter the shallot and ginger around it. Stir the shallot and ginger occasionally to keep them from burning, but leave the pork chop undisturbed, cooking until very lightly browned on one side, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the chop over, add the apple and Brussels sprouts to the pan, and season them lightly with salt. Stir to combine the apples and sprouts with the shallot and ginger, while leaving the pork undisturbed, and sprinkle the mirin and rice vinegar over the vegetables. Decrease the heat to medium-low, cover the pan and cook until the pork has just barely reached 140°F when tested with an instant-read thermometer and the sprouts have wilted, 3 to 4 minutes.
Transfer the pork to a serving plate and let it rest for a few minutes. Spoon the apple mixture on top, and eat.