Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
3 Jul

Cherry Thyme Confit with Pork Chops

Confit loosely translates as “cooking or preserving something in its own juices.” Typically, this refers to cooking or preserving meat in its own fat. You’ve heard of duck confit, right? It’s a simple and brilliant cooking method. If something is delicious, it just makes sense that cooking it in its own flavors is going to make it even more delicious. This need not only apply to meat. Any fruit or vegetable that has some juice to give can be cooked confit. Those cherries you keep passing up at the market (maybe because you don’t know what to put them in, except for a pie) are a perfect example.

Bing cherries are in high season right now: ripe, luscious and juicy, not to mention packed with vitamins and antioxidants. There’s just no good reason to smother all that goodness with sugar and a pie crust, especially if you have a recipe on hand that’s healthier and easier. Cherry Thyme Confit is just that recipe. Savory, rather than sweet, it’s delicious served as a garnish for meat. Pork is a favorite meat to serve it with but turkey and lamb are really good too. The cherries are cooked down just enough to soften (that’s the confit part) but the ripe, fresh summery flavor remains intact. Onions add the savory element and the aromatic fresh thyme is an essential accent of flavor and color.


2 cups pitted cherries (about 1 lb.)
1 red onion, sliced thinly
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp fresh thyme
1/2 cup red wine (try Malbec)
2 or more Pork Chops, about 1 inch thick

First, you’ll need to get the pesky little pit out of the cherry. If you have a cherry pitter, this job will be less messy than for those of us pushing down on the cherry with our thumb to pop the pit out. Either way, try to save the juice from the cherries as you pit them – you’ll end up with about a tablespoons worth (pitting the cherries in a bowl makes this easy). Set any juice you get and the pitted cherries aside.

Salt and pepper the pork chops and put a tablespoon of butter in a pan over medium-high heat. When the butter melts add the chops and cook about 8 minutes on each side. If it’s a hot summer night and you prefer to grill the chops, go for it.

While the meat grills, melt the butter in a pan and add the sliced onions.

If you’re not grilling, remove the meat from the pan after each side has cooked, turn the heat down to medium and then add the sliced onion. Cook until the onions are soft and slightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the red wine. Turn the heat down just a bit more so the red wine is just barely bubbling. Cook 10 to 15 minutes, until the wine evaporates and the onions are really soft. Add thyme, cherries and any cherry juice you reserved, as well as a dash of salt and pepper.

Cover and cook 3-5 minutes to finish the confit. You can add the pork chops back to pan at this point to re-warm them and to soak up a little flavor.  The confit is best served as a generous garnish, rather than a full-fledged side dish and you’ll have more than enough to serve with two pork chops. If you have more fresh thyme, sprinkle a bit on top before you dig in.

Check back tomorrow for another delicious recipe featuring a beautiful cut of meat and fresh, seasonal fruit.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. This looks great Mark, going to give this one a try very soon!

    George wrote on July 3rd, 2009
  2. I’ve been eating them with Greek yogurt for breakfast but this sounds fabulous, great way to get the DH to buy in to the PB lifestyle!

    Licarrit wrote on July 3rd, 2009
  3. I LOVE this recipe! Going to stop by the cherry/strawberry truck tonight to pick some of both up. Maybe I’ll have to switch my menu for my 4th of July bbq tom to this recipe…

    Happy Independence Day Americans! (And happy weekend to the non-US readers!)

    Holly wrote on July 3rd, 2009
  4. this looks really good mark

    John FitzGibbon wrote on July 3rd, 2009
  5. I’m endlessly satisfied that red wine fits snugly into the Primal diet. Now the real question is, once Autumn rolls around, can we do this with pomegranate?

    Barry wrote on July 3rd, 2009
  6. In the past I have made a similar recipe with duck. It was great.

    Alex Baranosky wrote on July 3rd, 2009
  7. This sounds great. And I have cherries in the fridge as I type this.

    Ron wrote on July 3rd, 2009
  8. Looking for a quick cheap easy way to pit those cherries? I’ve got it, free:

    The recipe sounds delicious – can’t wait to try it.

    Gypsy Jane wrote on July 4th, 2009
  9. This is hilirious. I made almost exactly this dish 3 nights ago… Pan fried chops with a wine based cherry reducttion, which I sort of made up on the fly, ala “Free the Animal”. If I start reading your mind on a regular basis, should I be worried? :-)

    Mike Gruber wrote on July 4th, 2009
  10. Nice one! The cherries will make a pleasant change when I get fed up with the strawberries . . .

    Trinkwasser wrote on July 6th, 2009
  11. Boom… just finished cleaning up after this beauty of a meal, served with some garlicky dinosaur kale.

    Delicious! Just remember to not overcook the chops… take them off at 150-155 and let them rest for 5 mins or so. I think the idea of cooking them first and then using the pan juices for the confit sounds tasty, but cooling and reheating the chops is a recipe for dry pork, and that is a non-starter for me.


    Josh Roman wrote on July 7th, 2009
  12. I made this last night for dinner!!


    I’ve been in LOVE with all berries this summer and the local organic ones are DEFINITELY better than regular store bought.

    In any case, that was one decadent and lucsious dinner last night. I used Merlot wine and it was just soooooo gooooooood. And easy. :)

    Keep the recipes coming!

    Tamara wrote on July 9th, 2009
    • Awesome, Tamara! Thanks for the comment and keep checking back for more Primal recipes. Plans change, of course, but for the foreseeable future we’ll be doing two new, original recipes every week. Cheers!

      Mark Sisson wrote on July 9th, 2009
  13. Pretty good recipe, tried it last night. I substituted Pork Tenderloin, and next time I think I will marinate the pork in the Cherry Juice for some time. I may also add a little cayenne pepper to give it a little kick.

    Very Good, just finished my leftovers for breakfast.

    Ron wrote on August 5th, 2009
  14. Made this and loved it when this was originally posted. Made it again today for the first time for my wife. Couldn’t find fresh thyme so used dried instead. Still came out pretty good!

    RogerDeRok wrote on August 5th, 2012
  15. Wow I was the last comment over a year ago!? Just made this tonight. First one of the summer and in a new state.

    Roger De Rok wrote on July 21st, 2013

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