By Emma Haberman | May 24, 2011

Photo: Emma Haberman

Emma Haberman lives and works in New York City. A reformed vegetarian, she believes in eating meat while being mindful of health and the environment, and she’s excited to share her philosophy in this column. Though she has a few dealbreakers, she’ll try any food once. Emma’s culinary habits have been influenced by living in Tokyo, Rome, Jerusalem and most recently Paris, where she discovered her love for cooking and every kind of cheese there is. I’m excited to have Emma writing for MarcusSamuelsson.com and enjoy first column, below! 

2010 was a big year for pork. I moved back to New York from Paris at the beginning of the year, and it felt like I couldn’t turn to any restaurant, market or blog without seeing pork belly, bacon, and nose-to-tail cooking (no complaints here).

Photo: Emma Haberman

So far it seems like pork is taking a backseat in 2011, so for my first column I wanted to highlight our old friend, the pork chop. Pork chops are great lean proteins, full of vitamins and iron; they also have a versatile flavor, giving you room to make a really delicious sauce.

Photo: Emma Haberman

This recipe is one of my favorites. I love how the sweetness of the syrup pairs with the spiciness of the mustard; any Dijon mustard will add that heat, but using whole grain will ensure that every bite gets a little mustard explosion. The apple-cabbage slaw brightens up this dish for spring with flavor and color, and adds a nice crunch.

Photo: Emma Haberman

I always found cooking pork to be slightly intimidating, but the truth is it’s pretty straightforward as long as you don’t let it dry out. So here we go, reader, let’s put some pork on your fork!


Pork Chops in a Maple-Mustard Sauce with Apple-Cabbage Slaw Recipe

Servings: 2


For the Pork:
  • Two 1/2-1 pound bone-in pork chops(boneless are fine too, I find the that the bone adds extra moisture and flavor)
  • 3 tbsp whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 11/2 tsp fresh sage, minced
  • 2 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
For the Slaw:
  • 1 red apple
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1/4 small yellow onion
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • Fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • Salt
  • Pepper


To Make Pork:

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Wash the pork and pat dry with paper towels. Salt, pepper and rub both sides of the chop with one tablespoon of mustard. Heat the oil in a skillet and brown each side of the chop for 2-3 minutes.

Tip: Only flip the pork once. Too much turning can make you lose track of time and cause the meat to cook unevenly.

2. Once browned, put the pork in a baking dish and bake for 10-15 minutes (depending on the thickness of the cut), until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees or the center is barely pink. Let rest for about five minutes.

Tip: Take the dish out on the early side - you may be surprised by how quickly the pork cooks. If it's undercooked you can always bake it longer, but there's no saving an overcooked pork chop!

3. While the pork is in the oven, add cider to the skillet, scraping up any brown bits that might remain. Whisk in the maple syrup and remaining mustard, continuing to stir occasionally until sauce thickens. Once the pork is out of the oven, add sage and any leftover juices from the baking dish while the pork rests. Top the chop with sauce.

To Make Slaw:
Cut the apple, cabbage and onion into long, thin strips. Mix together with vinegar, lemon, salt and pepper to taste. Serve alongside pork chop.

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