My friend Rory coined the name “candy pork chops” when she was serving these maple pork chops to her 3-year-old. Her rule: Whenever a dish is remotely sweet—and thanks to the maple syrup marinade, this one is—use the word candy in the name. Instant hit.–Jenny Rosenstrach
LC Not Quite Candy Note
While we appreciate the aforementioned candy trick, we tweaked the title of this dish to exclude “candy.” Not because we don’t think it’s brilliant—in theory, anyways—but because in actuality, the mere mention of c-a-n-d-y tends to conjure notions of comatose-inducing amounts of sweetness. And that simply ain’t present in these maple pork chops. What you will encounter is a subtle sweetness that’s perfect for supper. Hey, we’re just trying to manage expectations. Call us realists. And then call these pork chops what you will.
Maple Pork Chops
- Quick Glance
- 15 M
- 30 M
- Serves 4
- 4 boneless center-cut pork chops, at least 1 inch thick (get the fattiest chops you can find)
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup, preferably Grade B if you have it on hand, plus more to taste
- 3 tablespoons mild olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup unseasoned rice wine vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, smashed
- 1. Place the pork chops in a resealable plastic bag or container. Add the maple syrup, oil, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and garlic and shake or stir. Seal the bag or cover the container, toss in the fridge, and refrigerate, flipping the chops occasionally, for 12 to 24 hours.
- 2. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 450°F (232°F). Remove the chops from the marinade and pat them dry with paper towels. If you’d like to make a glaze for the pork chops, reserve the marinade, skimming any fat off the surface. Strain the marinade into a saucepan and simmer until reduced to an almost syrupy consistency. Taste and drizzle in a little more maple syrup, if desired.
- 3. If you prefer to just shove the pork chops in the oven and forget about them, place them on a rimmed, foil-lined baking sheet and roast, flipping once, until the pork chops register 145°F (63°C) on a thermometer, 10 to 15 minutes total, depending on the thickness. If desired, baste with the reduced marinade throughout the time in the oven. If you prefer a sorta caramelized, seared surface on your chops and don’t mind a little stovetop juggling, place them in a large cast-iron or other ovenproof skillet slicked with oil over medium-high heat and cook, flipping once, until beautifully browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast until the pork chops register 145°F (63°C) on a thermometer, about 8 minutes, depending on the thickness. If desired, baste with the reduced marinade throughout the time in the oven.
- 4. Place the pork chops on a plate, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes prior to serving. If you’ve reduced the marinade to a glaze, spoon any that remains over the pork chops or pass it on the side, if desired.