Nashville, Tennessee, is maybe best known for 10-gallon hats, Vanderbilt University, country music and its’ Grand Ole Opry, but the state capital recently added cider to its resume. Diskin Cider opened its doors as Music City’s first and only craft cidery in 2018 and has since been fulfilling its mission to “do f**king cool sh*t.”
From small-batch ciders made with juice from fresh-pressed apples, Diskin’s taproom also offers a cider-focused kitchen, led by executive chef Abby Crossett.
“At Diskin, our main goal is to have fun and be as involved in our community as possible,” the chef says. “I think our culinary program matches that goal. I like to make an approachable but interesting menu to keep the guests coming back and curious of what is next.”
In this recipe, Crossett uses Diskin’s Tiki Tonik, a pineapple cider in the cidery’s main line-up. Though Nashville hot chicken is an easy match, this cider not only marinates pork chops with heaps of flavor but packs the power of a precise pairing as well.
“I chose this specific cider to make a sort of Hawaiian-style pork chop instead of the normal apple cider people love to use,” she says. “I wanted to show everyone that you can cook with any flavored cider.”
Crossett admits pork and apple are a no-brainer for many, but for good reason. “The apple helps sweeten the pork ever-so-slightly to evolve a plain meat into an extraordinary meal,” she adds. “The natural sugars from the fruits help to make a beautiful caramelized, golden-brown pork chop.”
Pro tip: when marinating meat with a cider, the chef advises not to over-marinate the protein as the citric acid of the cider will somewhat cook the outside of the meat. This can help with tenderizing the protein but overdoing it can make the meat chewy from the acid.
Get the oven going — this marinade, chops and slaw ready will be ready to pair with that pineapple cider in no time.
Diskin Cider Tiki Tonik Marinated Pork Chops with Apple Slaw
For the Marinade:
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
½ cup vegetable oil
1 12-ounce can Diskin Cider Tiki Tonic
4 (4-6-ounce) pork chops, bone-in
In medium bowl, whisk all ingredients together. Add the pork chops to bowl, cover and coat with marinade. Cover the bowl and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 8.
When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 400° F. Remove the pork from marinade and pat dry, reserving 1 cup of marinade.
Bring a large cast iron to high heat with oil, adding the pork chops to the pan. Sear chops on each side until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. If all four do not fit at the same time, sear two at a time, removing to a plate to sear the remaining chops.
Place chops back into the pan if any were removed, reduce the heat to medium and pour 1 cup of reserved marinade over pork. Place in the oven for 6-8 minutes.
For the Apple Slaw:
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons apple juice
1 tablespoon course ground mustard
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
½ teaspoon celery seed
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 Honey Crisp apple, cored, sliced and julienned
1 carrot, shredded
1 cabbage head, shredded
In small bowl whisk together the mayo, apple juice, mustard, salt, celery seed and pepper. In a large bowl add cabbage, carrot, and apple then fold the sauce into the cabbage mixture.
When ready to serve, plate each pork chop and top with the apple slaw.