You need to start brining your pork chops the day before. These chops are best over warm baked beans, which also need to be started a day before you’d like to serve them.–Hugh Acheson
LC Oh. My. God. Note
The best brine I’ve ever had. Perfect. Exquisite. The antidote to dried-out, tasteless pork chops. I wouldn’t change a thing! Oh. My. God. That’s what folks are saying about this simple weeknight solution to what’s for dinner. Care to see what all the fuss is about? (Uh, when we say fuss, we actually mean hullabaloo, because this recipe is about as fuss-free as it gets.)
Pan-Roasted Pork Chops Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 15 M
- 30 M
- Serves 6
- 2 cups apple juice
- 3 cups cold water
- 1/4 cup kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1/4 cup maple syrup or sorghum syrup
- 3 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- Six 1 1/2-inch-thick center-cut pork loin chops, trimmed of excess fat
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- 1. Combine the apple juice, water, salt, maple or sorghum syrup, pepper, and cinnamon in a pot and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. As soon as the salt has completely dissolved, turn off the heat and let the brine cool to room temperature.
- 2. Place the pork chops in a baking dish or some other container that allows them to fit snuggly in a single layer. Add the brine, cover, and refrigerate for 24 hours.
- 3. Remove the pork chops from the brine and pat them dry. Discard the brine.
- 4. Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C).
- 5. Place a large cast-iron skillet on a burner over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and heat it until warm but not smoking. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper and carefully place them in the pan. If you can’t fit all the pork chops in the pan without crowding them, then do 2 or 3 at a time. Sear for 3 minutes per side. The chops should have some nice caramelization going on and your house should be smelling awesome. Your smoke detector is probably going to go off, too. After you’ve seared the chops, transfer the skillet to the oven for 8 minutes or, if you seared the chops in batches, transfer them to a rimmed baking sheet and plonk that in the oven until perfectly cooked through.
- 6. Place the pork chops on plates and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Devour right away—as if you could help yourself.
Pork Chops with Agrodolce Variation
- Embellish each pork chop with a dollop of sweetly tart, savory agrodolce, if you please. Roast, peel, and seed 2 large red bell peppers. Cut them into 1/2-inch dice. Plump 1/4 cup raisins in 1/4 cup warm port and 2 tablespoons warm water. Combine the red peppers and tipsy raisins with 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
Hungry for more? Chow down on these:
- Gorgonzola Stuffed Pork Chops from Eclectic Recipes
- Pork Chops with Apricot Brandy Sauce from Steamy Kitchen
- Maple-Brined Pork Chops with Pear Chutney from Leite's Culinaria
- Grilled Country Pork Chops with Bourbon-Basted Grilled Peaches from Leite's Culinaria
Pan-Roasted Pork Chops Recipe © 2011 Hugh Acheson. Photo © 2011 Rinne Allen. All rights reserved.