Technique for Perfect Quick Cooking Pork Chops

Technique for Perfect Quick Cooking Pork Chops

Let me tell you why I absolutely adore this cut! It’s delicious, affordable and takes minutes to make. That’s why. The cut we are talking about is thin, ideally bone-in, pork chop. By thin, I’m referring to a cut of around 1/2 inch and definitely under 3/4 inches thick.

However, there are challenges that come with this cut. If cooked incorrectly, it’s very hard to properly brown the exterior without overcooking the interior. And unfortunately, way too often you end up with either grey unappealing piece of pork, overcooked chop or sadly, sometimes, both – overcooked and improperly seared.

This time I’m cooking wit local Manitoba hormone-free pork. Please note, if you get your hands on a thicker cut – you will need another recipe that we will finish cooking in the oven; for 1.5″ chops refer to the recipe here.

We need to have the Maillard reaction take place with this cut, and every cut, really. Not only will the meat look better with that beautiful golden sear, Millard reaction is a chemical reaction that occurs between amino acids when exposed to heat and is responsible for browning of food and development of whole new flavours and aromas.

Look at the nice sear, yet juicy and not overcooked middle!

Here are the crucial steps to making this chop work:

  1. Optional overnight brine in pinch of sugar and salt makes the chop juicier.
  2. Drying the exterior of the pork chop with paper towels is a must. That will help you sear the meat instead of “steaming it” into unappealing grey result.
  3. Getting the pan really hot before adding the meat is a must!
  4. Initially cooking on high heat will help get a nice sear.
  5. Do not overcrowd the pan. You should never cook more than 2 chops per pan. You can cook in batches if needed.
  6. Not overcooking the chop will result in perfectly seared AND juicy piece of meat.
  7. Optional horseradish cream sauce is just an excellent and easy to make accompaniment to this dish!

One more thing I must add. It will get smoky when you cook your chops on high heat. So expect that and open the windows! This is the price I’m willing to pay for the delicious result!

Let’s get cooking!

Yields2 Servings

 2 thin (around 1/2 and under 3/4 inches) ideally bone in pork chops
 pinch of sugar
 kosher salt
 freshly ground black pepper
 olive oil, for frying
 a teaspoon of butter
 minced chives, for garnish
For Optional Horseradish Cream Sauce:
 ½ cup sour cream (I've successfully used Greek yogurt on multiple occasions)
 3 tbsp prepared horseradish, and more to taste
 2 tsp chives, minced
 ½ tsp lemon juice
 cayenne, for extra spice, optional
 kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1

This is an optional step but it helps brine the pork, which helps the chops stay juicy.

Rub each pork chop with a good pinch of sugar and kosher salt. Place on wire racks on top of rimmed baking sheet; this way the air can circulate and dry out the exterior of the chop making it easier to brown. Store in the fridge, uncovered, between 1 and 24 hours.

2

For the horseradish sauce, mix all of the ingredients together, taste and adjust the flavour with any of the ingredients to fit your taste, I often end up adding more horseradish than called for. Refrigerate until ready to serve, ideally for at least 2 hours.

3

Coat a large heavy pan, ideally cast iron, with a bit of oil, over high heat until smoking - around 3-4 minutes.

In the meantime dry pork chops well with paper towels. Do not skip this step. If they are not dry - they will not brown; instead they will steam into unappealing grey coloured piece of meat.

Add the pork chops to the hot pan and cook undisturbed for about 1.5 minutes, watching closely not to burn. At that point, slide some butter under each chop and continue cooking until caramelized and golden brown, shaking the pan and ensuring the chop is browning evenly; maybe even gently press down on the meat to ensure it gets good contact with the hot pan. Turn the heat down to medium or medium high. Flip the chops and finish cooking on the other side, while basting the chops with the pan juices. Take a second to stand each chop on its side to cook the sides as well.

The total cooking time will be around 5 minutes, perhaps even less for a chop this thin. The internal temperature should register 145° and the chop should still be a bit pink on the inside, do not overcook!

4

Remove to a plate, allow to rest for a couple of minutes, and serve with optional horseradish sauce, freshly ground black pepper and minced chives.

Ingredients

 2 thin (around 1/2 and under 3/4 inches) ideally bone in pork chops
 pinch of sugar
 kosher salt
 freshly ground black pepper
 olive oil, for frying
 a teaspoon of butter
 minced chives, for garnish
For Optional Horseradish Cream Sauce:
 ½ cup sour cream (I've successfully used Greek yogurt on multiple occasions)
 3 tbsp prepared horseradish, and more to taste
 2 tsp chives, minced
 ½ tsp lemon juice
 cayenne, for extra spice, optional
 kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

1

This is an optional step but it helps brine the pork, which helps the chops stay juicy.

Rub each pork chop with a good pinch of sugar and kosher salt. Place on wire racks on top of rimmed baking sheet; this way the air can circulate and dry out the exterior of the chop making it easier to brown. Store in the fridge, uncovered, between 1 and 24 hours.

2

For the horseradish sauce, mix all of the ingredients together, taste and adjust the flavour with any of the ingredients to fit your taste, I often end up adding more horseradish than called for. Refrigerate until ready to serve, ideally for at least 2 hours.

3

Coat a large heavy pan, ideally cast iron, with a bit of oil, over high heat until smoking - around 3-4 minutes.

In the meantime dry pork chops well with paper towels. Do not skip this step. If they are not dry - they will not brown; instead they will steam into unappealing grey coloured piece of meat.

Add the pork chops to the hot pan and cook undisturbed for about 1.5 minutes, watching closely not to burn. At that point, slide some butter under each chop and continue cooking until caramelized and golden brown, shaking the pan and ensuring the chop is browning evenly; maybe even gently press down on the meat to ensure it gets good contact with the hot pan. Turn the heat down to medium or medium high. Flip the chops and finish cooking on the other side, while basting the chops with the pan juices. Take a second to stand each chop on its side to cook the sides as well.

The total cooking time will be around 5 minutes, perhaps even less for a chop this thin. The internal temperature should register 145° and the chop should still be a bit pink on the inside, do not overcook!

4

Remove to a plate, allow to rest for a couple of minutes, and serve with optional horseradish sauce, freshly ground black pepper and minced chives.

Thin Pork Chops

Happens to be Gluten-Free, Whole 30, Low Carb, Keto and Paleo. Some exclude butter on Keto, so skip if needed. Do not make horseradish cream sauce for Paleo and Whole 30.

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