The ingredient list for this recipe is as simple as its title: Salt and Pepper Pork Chops. The only other ingredient (listed as “to taste,” but HIGHLY recommended) is butter. Yep. Lip-smacking, old-fashioned, paleo-friendly butter pulls this quick pork dish together and accentuates its simple, unadulterated flavors.
Chef and author Gabrielle Hamilton was taught this salt and pepper pork chops recipe by her mother-in-law, Alda. Hamilton devotes an entire chapter of her renowned and much awaited cookbook, Prune, to Alda’s traditional Italian cooking. One taste of these chops, and we think you’ll agree that Alda’s actually more like a fairy-godmother-in-law than a mother-in-law. Not only are they exquisitely delicious and flawlessly cooked, but the pork chops are on the table in less than 20 minutes and come together from pantry staples. You’re welcome. Originally published August 30, 2015.–Frances Kim
Salt and Pepper Pork Chops
- Quick Glance
- 10 M
- 20 M
- Serves 2
- Two 10- to 12-ounce pork chops, preferably sirloin, cut 3/4 inch thick
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Butter, at room temperature, to taste
- 1. Place a heavy pan or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Give it 5 minutes to fully heat.
- 2. Liberally season the chops with salt and pepper on both sides. Grab a pair of scissors or a paring knife and make a few slight notches along the fatty edge of each pork chop, scoring the fatty part every inch or so, to prevent the sides of the pork chops from curling when they hit the heat, especially if your chops are on the thinner side.
- 3. Place the pork chops in the hot pan, increase the heat to medium-high, and don’t touch the chops for 5 minutes. (Don’t worry if things start to smoke. That happened to us, too. It’ll be fine.) Flip the pork chops and cook for 8 minutes on the other side, or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F (63°C). Immediately stack the pork chops on a plate. Let the chops rest and the juices accumulate on the plate, about 3 minutes.
- 4. Smear the pork chops with soft butter while they’re warm and let it mingle with the pan juices. Do not garnish. Just fork the chops onto plates and dribble some of those buttery skillet juices over the top.