This is really about Mr. Hauenstein’s apples, but Mr. Cox has a better name.
Mr. Cox introduced Cox’s Orange Pippin, in 1860, which today represents more than 50% of the dessert, or eating, apple production in the UK, but, is unpopular among commercial growers in the US. In steps Rubinette, a cross with Golden Delicious, developed over 18 years in Switzerland by Walter Hauenstein, Rubinette, a more disease resistant plant whose flavor and texture are all Orange Pippin.
What does a Rubinette taste like? The flesh is fairly dense and crisp, though with a slightly chalky feel in the mouth. It’s acidity doesn’t approach a McIntosh, but it’s got a nice bite and lots of spicy flavors – think nutmeg, anise and allspice. The flavor is a bit musty, and aloof, unlike say a Honeycrisp which comes up and smacks you right in the mouth.
That’s why, after tasting one last week, Shitake mushrooms came to mind. Earthy and sweet, they make your mouth do that same extra little bit of work to appreciate the flavor. Together, they balance the sweet, rich fat of pork rubbed with bright cinnamon. The combination is subtle and complex, a perfect excuse for the finishing pinch of cardamom.
So thanks Mr. Cox, and Mr. Hauenstein. And If you can’t find any Rubinette, grab a Gala apple. And thank Mr. Kidd.
Pork Chops With Cognac-Glazed Mushrooms and Apples
- 4 thick-cut pork chops
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 2 cups thinly sliced Shitake mushrooms
- 2 Rubinette apples, 1/4” matchsticks
- 1 tbs butter
- 1 tbs chopped thyme
- 1/4 cup Cognac
- Pat pork chops dry with a paper towel. Season with salt, pepper, dry mustard and cinnamon.
- Warm 1 tbs olive oil in a 12” skillet over med-high heat. Add pork chops and sear both sides, turning once. After turning, reduce heat and cook through to 140. Reserve and tent with foil.
- Return pan to medium heat with 1 tbs olive oil.
- Add Shitake mushrooms and cook 3 minutes.
- Add apples and butter. Cook until apples are crisp tender, and you can just pierce them with a fork.
- Add thyme and cognac. Cook until liquid reduces and coats apples and mushrooms. Season to taste with salt, pepper and a pinch of cardamom.
- Serve pork over apples and mushrooms.