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Becky Winkler
Course Main
Cuisine American
Servings 4


For the dry-rubbed pork chops:

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt or to taste (I used Himalayan pink salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon bittersweet smoked paprika or more if you want spicy chops
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 bone-in pork chops preferably less than 1 inch thick (about 1.5 pounds)*
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or avocado oil

For the cranberry-apple compote:

  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries no need to defrost
  • 1 large apple cored and coarsely chopped (I used an Opal apple)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
  • Juice of half an orange about 1/4 cup
  • Pinch of sea salt or to taste


  • Mix the spices and salt in a small bowl. Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels and rub the spice mixture evenly onto both sides of the chops. If you’re almost ready to cook, leave the pork chops out at room temperature for up to 30 minutes (it’s also fine to cook them right away). If you’d rather cook later, cover and refrigerate them for an hour or two, taking them out at least 15 minutes before you plan to cook them.
  • Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. If your skillet is not large enough to hold all the chops in a single layer with a little space between them, use two separate pans or cook them in batches.
  • When the pan is very hot, add the ghee or oil and swirl the pan to coat the bottom. Add as many pork chops as will comfortably fit and let them cook undisturbed for 5-7 minutes. You can test if they’re ready to flip by gently lifting an edge with tongs or a spatula—if the pork chop is sticking, it’s not quite ready yet.
  • Once the chops release easily and are nicely browned on the bottom, turn them over and cook for 2-4 minutes on the second side or to your desired doneness. Keep in mind that the pork chops will continue to cook a bit after you remove them from the pan. Leaving the heat on, transfer them to a plate to rest.
  • Add the compote ingredients to the skillet. Stir briefly with a spatula, scraping to deglaze the bottom of the pan.
  • Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pan, and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apples are lightly browned, the cranberries have burst, and much of the liquid has been absorbed. Season with a little sea salt to taste.
  • Spoon the hot compote over the pork chops and serve right away.


*If your pork chops are thicker than this, I recommend starting them on the stovetop and finishing them in the oven as outlined in this recipe. The cooking time will be longer, so look for thinner chops if you'll be short on time.
For a shortcut version of this dish that's still delicious and even faster, omit all the compote ingredients except for the chopped apple (use a nice, big apple or 2 smaller ones). After you take the pork chops out of the pan, add the chopped apple, stirring and scraping with a spatula to deglaze the pan. Reduce the heat to medium and let the apple cook for 2-3 minutes, until softened and browned to your liking. Sprinkle on a little salt and pepper, spoon the apple on top of the pork chops, and dig in.