Bone-In Pork Chops With Preserved Apricot Sauce

While thinking about what to write about this recipe, I was reminded of an old story about the Hungry Man and his dog Spot. Life had pretty much got the better of Hungry Man. He was starving and he needed to eat. With remorse in both his eyes and his voice, he turned to Spot and said “If we don’t get some food by tomorrow, I’ll have no choice but to eat you.” Spot whined and cured up at his master’s feet. The night passed and the next day dawned with no improvement in the food situation. Hungry Man duly killed the dog, cooked and ate him, leaving only a big pile of clean bones behind. He sat back, replete, and said to himself; “If only Spot were here, he’d love those bones”.


I was reminded of that old story while I sucked the last of the apricot sauce off the bones of the chops in this outstanding recipe. If you have some preserved apricots, I have to say use them in this way. Earlier in the year, I preserved some apricots in brandy. There is a post about it here. Not being a big dessert person, I wanted to try them in a savoury dish.

Most of the ingredients are for the couscous. Still, a nice photo.

Ingredients for bone-in pork chops with preserved apricot sauce and spicy couscous

  • 2 big, bone-in free range pork chops*
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 1 jar of preserved apricots in brandy
  • 200 grammes of pearl couscous
  • Thyme, parsley, chilis, and chives

*If you can’t get good free range pork chops, don’t bother trying this dish. It would be a waste of the other ingredients.

Firstly, slice through the skin and fat on the pork chops. Season the chops very well on both sides.

There is very little involved in preparing this.

Heat a cast iron pan to medium hot. Add the chops and don’t touch them for 5 minutes. Turn them.

They need a good crust of salt pepper and pork to be perfect.

Meanwhile, chop all the herbs and chilli.

I love using fresh garden herbs. These are from my collection.

Cook the couscous to the packet instructions (anybody can do this). Stir in the aromatics along with some salt and pepper. Let it stand while you finish the pork. Pour the juice from the preserving jar (brandy, water and sugar) into the frying pan.

The chops will finish cooking in the reducing sauce.

Let this reduce by about half. It will deglaze the pan and thicken. Move one of the chops so you can fit the apricots in. They go in towards the end to prevent them disintegrating.

The apricots are delightful cold too. Resist temptation.

Serve the highly flavoured pork chops and apricots with the sauce and couscous. It is a rare treat. I’ll guarantee you don’t even give any of the bones to poor old Spot. “Where did the dog go? Spot, Spot, where are you…”

I suspect none of my apricots will be used in a dessert. This is just too good.

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Latest comments
  • You’re a terrible man, Conor. Drooling on the keyboard is Not Good. I now have an overwhelming fancy for a great big juicy pork chop for dinner tomorrow, and lacking the handy jar of apricots preserved in brandy, I need to try and simulate your experience with what’s in the pantry. I think there’s some brandy left over from last year’s Christmas cake, and I know I have dried apricots… Yeah, I know it’s hopeless, but I have to try.

  • Those do look lovely. I’ve become fond of fruit and meat combinations — especially if alcohol’s involved! 🙂 I do a brisket with onions, brandy and dried fruit that’s pretty good. I’ll bet those apricots would work too, although I’d have to add them at the end. I’ll have to put up some next summer and give it a shot.

  • I’m not much of a sweet-eater either, so these savory boozy chops are making me drool. And by the way, I hope your birthday has been wonderful!! I suspect it’s winding down as I write this in my time zone.

  • Poor Spot. But, oh, how I love fruit with pork. That looks fab.

  • Thanks for the reminder Conor of how well fruit compliments meats. Lovely meal.

  • Love pork with fruit and thanks to the first comments twixt you and Kate I’ll have my dried apricots ‘curing’ in brandy by the afternoon! Could happily eat couscous most days of the week, so shall adopt your combination of flavours!

  • Glad your preserved apricots turned out well. This looks great. Apricots preserved in brandy are called farm girls (or is that farm lasses) in the Netherlands, so I’m not surprised you enjoy porking them 😉

  • I love that pork is such a great ingredient for fruit. It’s always a great balance. I love the idea of preserved apricots.

  • Stefan, dat is heel stout. Ook slim, om een woordspeling in het Engels te maken 🙂

  • agree with Kate . . . . dat is heel stout . . . . .

  • A WEEK? But I want it now, Conor!! Never mind that this idea of yours has been steeping for months!

  • Poor Spot. Regardless, this sounds like an amazingly tasty combination of ingredients!

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