Thursday, February 21, 2008

Perfect Pork Chop


Boneless pork chops are just so tempting when you're browsing the meat department at the local mega-grocery store, trying to think of something to make. They are the perfect serving-size, they look easy to cook (sans bones), they are healthy (pretty much), and they hint at being tasty (they ARE pork, after all).

But then you grill them, or pan-saute them, or bake them (shake-and-bake or otherwise) and you end up with DRY, flavorless pork. Your cuts of meat have turned into warm styrofoam and you - at least WE! - are disappointed with our choice, once again.

But wait! What is the method that we see in open kitchens in restaurants we visit and on the chef's stations of cooking shows we watch? Browning, then moving to the oven to finish. This method of cooking SEEMS daunting - at least to US! - because you are sending your quick-cook cut of meat off to the dark regions of the oven. We normally reserve oven introductions for long, slow visits... covered, with liquid or not. But, there's a reason you see this method in professional kitchens - and that reason is juicy, flavorful meat!

Not only that - once you get past the initial fear of sending your boneless pork chop off to the oven - it's easy, too! This may all seem elementary to some, but it took us a while to figure everything out. Here's what we do:

Take 4 boneless pork chops, maybe 3/4" inch thick, and season both sides with salt, pepper, and something else... we keep going with this oregano/basil/thyme/fennel mixed seasoning we have, but you could try smoked paprika, garlic-and-onion, maybe crushed red pepper - whatever you fancy. Also, get the oven preheated to 350.

Then heat a little olive oil - maybe 2 tablespoons - in a pan on pretty high (preferrably a non-non-stick pan... so, a stick pan. but definitely an oven-safe pan) and start browning your pork chops. After about 3 minutes on side #1, turn and brown side #2 for 1 minute and then turn off the heat and pop that pan into the oven. Since it's uncovered, it helps if you have a wire splatter screen to put over the top or you'll get some mess in your oven.



8 to 10 to mayyybe 15 minutes later (depending on the thickness of your pork chops) you're done! Pop them out, make a little incision if you want to make sure there is barely any pink left (this isn't poultry, but get to the doneness you want), and then let them sit for a minute or two.

If you want to go one final step - remove those pork chops to a plate to sit and put the pan back on high heat on the stovetop, then splash some wine into the pan - white or red, whatever you're having. Stir and let that cook for two minutes and you've got a great little pan sauce.

Voila! Juicy, flavorful boneless pork chops in less than 1/2 an hour! A quick side of rice, or couscous, steamed asparagus, or even just a piece of bread and some heated frozen veggies... pour some of that pan sauce on your pork chops and dinner is served - in less than 1/2 hour!

37 comments:

Barbie said...

Totally trying this! I sure hope it'll work with chops with a bone! You think?

Boston Chef said...

Barbie - I guarantee it will work with bone-in chops...

This recipe is straight out of any good restaurant's kitchen!

Monitoring the doneness/temperature might be your biggest obstacle, I say pull them and check temp often so you don't over-cook them!

Anonymous said...

It works great! I did this last night with two butterflyed boneless pork chops... Brown is a pan and put in the oven for 15 minutes to cook through... awesome!

Anonymous said...

just fyi for apartment dwellers and folks with not the best ventilation system...this does create a lot of smoke! Solution? Use sunflower oil (or another oil with a high smoke temp)in place of the olive oil and then perhaps your smoke alarms won't go off! Great method...the chops come out perfect every time! Thank!

Boston Chef said...

Thanks, anon.... that wire/oven-safe splatter screen is also a BIG help! Perfect pork chop!

Anonymous said...

best chops i have ever made!!!!! sooooooo good, doing it this way from now on :)

Carol said...

I am making these tonight! Will let you know! Thanks!!!

Anonymous said...

I made some following this recipe today for lunch and they were not moist and were overcooked so next time I will cook them a lot shorter time. I'm also going to try an overight marinade.

Sactownjoey said...

Great recipe! I did this with a French cut pork chop, rubbed it with spicy mustard and an applewood spice rub from Whole Foods. I put the rub on it about four hours before I cooked it and it made a great crust.

I used a cast iron skillet and preheated it in the oven before putting it on the hot burner.

Anonymous said...

Did it. I came out really good

Conni Bishop said...

Thanks so much for this recipe. I have been cooking for 30+ years and it was hit or miss on the tender pork chop. I made 1" boneless loin chops tonight with smoked paprika exactly the way you described and they were succulent! The best pork chops in my life. Cheers, Conni

Beverly said...

Made these tonight using boneless pork chops with Cajun seasoning. They came out moist and tender. Thanks for the recipe. Will definitely make again.

caroluski said...

Perfect porkchops! Don't skip the wine deglazing, delicioso!

Nicole said...

The absolute best pork chops I've ever had!

Toyotafleetkaren said...

Absolutely delicious! To season the chops, i used Trader Joes Everyday Seasoning grinder. I added some thinly sliced sweet onion to the pan while deglazing and it was a great topper. Quick, easy and yummy!

Boston Chef said...

We love reading the comments that still come in on this Perfect Pork Chop post! Please keep them coming!!!

Anonymous said...

The pork chops were delicious! Make a white wine-mustard sauce to go with it. I do this method with steaks but will be my go-to pork chop technique now. Thanks for posting!

Vanessa Tewell said...

Why not nonstick pan? Will it still work?

Diane said...

I brine my pork chops first,
Then I saute in avocado oil (high smoke point) mixed with a smidge of unsalted butter. Then I pop into oven and cook until thermometer is 150. Turn off heat. Take Cover chops out of pan and cover with a tent of foil for 10 min or so to rest. While chops are resting, I add dry red wine, butter, bring to boil- reduce and the I pour over chops.
If I begin with a brine, I never have dry chops.

Anonymous said...

delish! I marinaded w/ simply orange with tangerine for 20 minutes, after I rinsed meat & sprinkled Kicken Chicken seasoning on both sides of sliced loin chops. Then just what Chef says: Brown both sides on high & preheated bake setting @ 350F. Just melts in your mouth! :) Thanks Chef!

Meranda Hire said...

How do I know if I can put my pans in the oven?

Boston Chef said...

Meranda - look up your brand and model online if you don't still have the information that came with it. Most non-stick pans can only go up to a certain temp.

Anonymous said...

Hi... Most pans can go in the oven., except those with meltable plastic (non heat resistant ) handles. Get a cast iron skillet! Best pan to own! Cheap! Durable, everlasting. In fact they often can be found at garage sales or thrift shops.

Mimi said...

i made this for dinner tonight. BEST pork chops I've ever cooked (40 years and counting!). I used Tuscan herb olive oil and seasoned chops with just salt and pepper. Don't have an oven proof frying pan so seared the chops and transferred to a PAM-sprayed 9x9 baking dish and baked for 10 minutes. Tented with foil and let rest for 10 minutes while sides finished cooking. So tender you could cut with a fork. WOW!!!

Anonymous said...

I will guess at the ovem tmperature

Boston Chef said...

Hi Anonymous - for the oven temp, from the post:

"Also, get the oven preheated to 350."

Pratima said...

I had been looking for a good recipe for boneless pork chops FOREVER. I tried this recipe past week and this was the perfect one :-) The BEST pork chops I've ever made .. were loved and were all gone in not time! THANK YOU!!

Anonymous said...

I prepared my pork chops in a cast iron skillet and seasoned them with Jane's Krazy mixed-up salt and some fresh Cracked Pepper. They were extremely tender and very flavorful!

Anonymous said...

I tried this recipe last night, and the pork chops were PERFECT! So easy, too! We recently added pork to our dinner rotation, and I've tried several other recipes, much more complicated and labor-intensive. This is by far our favorite.

Boston Chef said...

Loving all the people's perfect pork chops out there - keep commenting!

Sindi Stack said...

I will be making a chop for supper today.
Not real clear on the instructions. Not sure if I set my oven on bake or roast.
Since I do not have a screen to cover them I will just use aluminum foil.
If this turns out as good as predicted I may just go out and buy another chop sometime later this week.
Hopefully all goes well as every time I make a chop it is either dry and overcooked or not completely done.
Wish me luck.

CJ said...

When you say "turn off the heat" do you mean you pop the cast iron pan into the pre-heated 350 degree oven and then turn off the heat of the oven (or do you just mean turn off the heat on the stove)? Appreciate the clarification - thanks!

S Hartman said...

I don't have/drink/use wine... Any other suggestions for the sauce?

Boston Chef said...

Stock or even just a bit of water would work.

Anonymous said...

What can i use besides a pan for the oven perhaps a baking pan would work? If so do you cover it with foil?

Anonymous said...

Will be cooking my chops this way now, so juicy and tender. Thank You !!!

Anonymous said...

I marinade with Ponzu and Cavenders for at least 4 hours then dredge with seasoned flour and panko before going into the cast iron pan. Delicious, crusty and moist!