The Best Way Pork Chops - Brando Cucina Blog at - 300517

Brando Cucina

The best way Pork Chops 
Apr. 5, 2013 2:13 pm 
Updated: Jul. 30, 2013 6:39 pm
Ok, I don't know about the best, but I like it a whole lot. How? Pan Roasting. I'm a big fan of a good tender chop but frankly most of the time what you get even in a fine restaurant is either undercooked or more typically, overcooked. I love chops on the grill (my favorite way) which I sear over direct heat for a few minutes each side and then move to the other side of the grill with no coals for indirect heat to finish them off. I've not been a big fan of broiling either since that seems to lend itself to a tough chop more times than not. So ok, why not pan roast? The advantage there is not only can you control the internal temperature of the meat more precisely but then you also have the opportunity to make a tasty pan sauce to serve the chops with.

To start,  I have to say right off the bat I find that this method won't work at all with the thin style chops you typically find under the plastic wrap at the supermarket. The best chop for pan roasting would be a 3/4-1" thick center cut chop from your butcher or the meat market at your local store. The next most important thing would be brining. You could also dry rub the meat for a few hours instead, but brining really brings out a tender, moist chop.


Brine the pork chops for a minimum of 2 hours (brine recipe follows) and then take out of the fridge about an hour before cooking.

Pre-heat your oven to 400.

Pat the chops dry with paper towels and then season generously with salt and pepper. Heat a medium skillet large enough to hold the chops without touching to medium heat with 1-2 TBSPs of olive oil. When the oil begins to shimmer, place the chops in the pan and sear on one side for 3-4 minutes. The chops should have a nice brown sear. Turn the chops over and repeat on the other side. You may need to adjust the heat so that you have a steady sizzle, but not so high that they spatter or so low that they boil in their own liquid. Remove the pan from the heat, stick an oven thermometer in the thick part of the meat about a 1/2" away from the bone and put the skillet in the oven.

In the meantime, prep the ingredients for the pan sauce.

1 clove of garlic (fine chop) or about 1 TSP
1 medium shallot (fine chop)
1/2 cup of white wine or dry sherry
1/2 cup of chicken stock
Fresh chopped thyme with a few leaves of sage (1-2 TSP total)
Few grinds of black pepper

When the internal temperature of the chops gets to 155, remove them to a plate and tent loosely with foil. If you are not afraid of pink meat, take them out at 150 but do not let the temperature go above 160. Put the skillet back on the burner over medium heat and add the chopped shallot to the pan. If there is not enough oil in the pan, add a bit more olive oil so as not to burn the shallot. Saute the shallot until translucent, using the shallot to scrape up the brown bits and then add the garlic. Saute until fragrant, but don't let the garlic turn brown (30 sec to 1 min). Now add the thyme and sage, white wine and chicken stock, and bring to a boil again scrapping any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Keep stirring and reduce to a thick sauce, pouring any liquid that has accumulated around the pork chops back into the pan and then turn the heat off. Put the chops back into and pan and move them around in the pan for about 30 seconds and then flip over and repeat for 30 more seconds.

Plate the chops, pour the sauce on top and enjoy!

Pork Chop Brine Mix:

In a bowl large enough to hold the chops and keep them under the liquid.

1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 TSP black peppercorns
1/8 TSP mustard seed
1 Bay leaf
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
5oz apple juice (I buy small 10oz bottles of Martinelli's just for this)
3 cups of water

Mix everything together, and add the meat. If you have time, heat to a boil and then let cool to room temp. If heating, you can reduce the black peppercorn and mustard seed by half. If not that's ok just throw everything together and plop the pork in for a few hours.
Pork Chops in Pan Sauce
Photo Detail
Ready to brine
Photo Detail
Apr. 5, 2013 3:29 pm
I love brining a good, thick chop! Excellent post, and now I'm hungry again!
Apr. 5, 2013 3:57 pm
Oh wow,sounds so good,thanks for the recipe,love pork,and it makes me hungry also.
Apr. 5, 2013 4:12 pm
FYI: WASHINGTON, May 24, 2011 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is updating its recommendation for safely cooking pork, steaks, roasts, and chops. USDA recommends cooking all whole cuts of meat to 145 °F as measured with a food thermometer placed in the thickest part of the meat, then allowing the meat to rest for three minutes before carving or consuming.
Jul. 30, 2013 6:39 pm
Thanks! Just goes to show what an experienced cook can do with quality ingredients.
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