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This is one of the easiest (and most comforting, I think) fall dishes to cobble together when it’s pouring. (You probably know how to make it already!) No doubt you have apples and onions on hand, and there’s probably a pork chop or two stashed in the freezer. While the pork chops thaw, you can go back to your blanket, cup of tea, and the stack of books next to your bed. If you need to stall even more–and autumn is, in some ways, all about drawing things out–you can marinate the pork in olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, and a bit of vinegar.

In the cookbook (coming soon from DailyLit!), I note that this is one of those rare recipes my husband and I both grew up eating–although he was eating it nearly six thousand miles away behind the Iron Curtain.

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This is adapted from the Czech original.

Pork Chops with Apples and Onions

2 pork chops
salt
freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp. oil
1 tbsp. butter
1 medium-large onion, chopped
4 small apples, cored and sliced in rounds

Trim pork chops and pound lightly. Season; sear in hot oil on all sides. Add butter, chopped onions, and sliced apples. Stew until cooked. (Add a bit of water before covering.) Serve with potatoes.

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In Prague, mustard is sold in mayonnaise-sized containers; the Czech word for mustard is hořčice, which has a deliciously thick and appropriate sound, I think. (I know, the original recipe doesn’t call for mustard, but pork chops are somehow inextricably associated with mustard, for me.)

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Apples and onions browning together. Right after the onion-sage-and-celery aromas of Thanksgiving morning, this is one of my favorite swirls of fall smells.

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The final version. (Those spots are the result of a few crazed dashes of cinnamon.)

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If you want to be faithful to the recipe, you can serve this with potatoes boiled with a few teaspoons of caraway seeds, though potatoes in any form (such as garlicky mashed potatoes) would round things out. Don’t expect to do anything later but retreat back to your blanket and books, however!