Quick—what is the best beer to pair with pork chops and applesauce? Did you guess Oktoberfest?! How did you know? Was it because you read the title of this blog post? :)
Fall is my absolute favorite time of year for beer. It also happens to be my favorite for food too….what a coincidence! This recipe pairing was actually not even intended to be a blog post, but after I made this dish, it was so good, I knew I just had to share it with anyone and everyone. ACTUALLY, this blog post exists purely because I bought a 30 pound box of apples a few weeks ago and made two huge batches of applesauce. What is the best thing in the world to pair with applesauce? Pork Chops!
Now, the applesauce should be another blog post on its own. But honestly, its so easy to make--Cut and peel about 10 apples, throw it into the crockpot with 1 cup of water, about 1/2 cup of sugar and some cinnamon. Heat on high for about 3 hours. After 3 hours, the apples should be soft enough to mash. Just mash with a potato masher or puree if you want it less chunky.
If you were to ask me what my favorite amber-colored, malty, lightly hopped ale in the entire world is, it would be Oktoberfest. That is pretty specific, but it’s the truth. Oktoberfest is definitely up there with my other favorite beers—right behind saisons and sours—and I think it deserves such a high placement. Oktoberfest is one of the easiest beers to pair things with since it isn’t too hoppy, has a great maltiness, and is light enough not to overpower most dishes. However, it can also stand up to big, flavorful foods as well. Think about what the Germans eat during Oktoberfest—sausage, brats, sauerkraut, cheese, pretzels…Oktoberfest beers go with all these. But what makes Oktoberfest even better is that it goes with sweet accompaniments too, like the applesauce in my recipe, which is a little more difficult for other beverages to do.
Sam Adams is my favorite domestic example of the Oktoberfest style. Note: American versions of Oktoberfest beers are usually darker, stronger, and maltier than examples from Europe. I’m also in love with a local Las Vegas brewery, Tenaya Creek’s, version of Oktoberfest. Unfortunately they don’t bottle theirs, but I’ve got a keg coming my way in just a few days for the house :)
Paulaner Oktoberfest and Spaten Oktoberfest are my favorites from Germany, and actually, I think the Paulaner went a little better with this dish than the Sam Adams. Maybe not better, just different. Its worth it to pick up both and compare them for yourself, not only to learn what you like better but to get an understanding of the differences between an American Oktoberfest-style and a European.
This recipe is nothing fancy--in fact, I take pride in knowing its a simple, weeknight-dinner kind of meal. The kind of meal you can make quickly and enjoy a beer with. I made these pork chops with the applesauce and also potato pancakes, making for a complete anything-but-green meal. I originally found it on The Pioneer Woman and make it whenever I want to make a nice meal but have zero time. I hope you enjoy this one!
Easy Pan-Fried Pork Chops
6 thin-cut, bone-in or boneless pork chops
3/4 Cup All-purpose flour
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp seasoned salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 Cup canola oil
1 Tbsp butter
1. Combine all dry ingredients in a shallow pan. I use a small casserole dish.
2. Salt and Pepper both sides of the pork chops. Place into the dish with the dry ingredients and dredge both sides, making sure every side of the pork chop is covered in the flour mixture. Repeat with all pork chops.
3. Heat oil and butter in a saute pan over medium-high heat. When hot, place 3 pork chops in the pan and cook 3-4 minutes per side. When finished, set aside and continue with the second batch of pork chops. Serve with homemade applesauce and potato pancakes, and of course, Oktoberfest.