Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Easy Pork Chops

This is the main way I cook pork chops these days. Some day I'll post my mother's oh-so-yummy-but-more-labor-intensive way, but for now, this is it. Super easy and always great results. The premise is that a cold pan yields juicier chops--works for me!

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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....)
  3. 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.
Serves 4

No comments: