Recipe from Cook's Illustrated #67, March-April, 2004
4 bone-in pork rib or center-cut chops, about 7 ounces each and 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick, patted dry with paper towels and with two small slits cut in the side*
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
*I've used all kinds of pork chops, bone-in and boneless, with or without the small slits in the side
- If using electric stove, turn burner to medium heat. Rub both sides of each chop with 1/8 teaspoon oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle one side of each chop evenly with 1/8 teaspoon sugar, avoiding the bone.
- Place chops, sugared-side down, in 12-inch nonstick skillet (I prefer my cast iron skillet which I place on the burner to preheat, violating their cold pan philosophy; if I'm using a nonstick skillet, I follow recipe as given). Using hands, press meat of each chop into pan. Set skillet with chops over medium heat; cook until lightly browned, 4-9 minutes. Using tongs, flip chop. Cover skillet, reduce heat to low, and cook until center of each chop registers 140 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 3-6 minutes (begin checking temperature at 2 minutes); chops will barely brown on second side. Transfer chops to platter, tent with foil, and let rest 5 minutes; do not discard liquid in skillet. (I do not cover mine when I'm using the cast iron skillet....)
- Add any juices accumulated on platter to skillet. Set skillet over high heat and simmer vigorously until reduced to about 3 tablespoons, 30 seconds to 90 seconds; adjust seasonings with salt and pepper to taste. Off heat, return pork chops to skillet, turning chops to coat with reduced juices. Serve chops immediately, browned-side up, pouring any remaining juices over.