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Tender Juicy Seared Pork Chops

 

Tender Juicy Seared Pork Chops

With our busy lives, that often means we aren’t always good at planning ahead for dinner. I like creating posts for you that help lower the burden of weeknight dinner plans made honestly easy.

Food that is easy for the sake of being easy, also needs to be better and delicious or what’s the point ~ Iron Chef Michael Simmon

 

Tender Juicy Seared Pork Chops

 

Tender Juicy Seared Pork Chops remind me of growing up and eating Mom’s cooking. The days of thin cut pork chops dredged in season flour and pan-fried. I bet you’re like me and loved eating away at the bone where all the flavor was. As great as this all sounds a classic dish is a classic for good reason.

The recipe we are working on today has some great eating points. Our pork chop recipe is gluten-free and not fried. The flavor profile is ramped-up with herbs, spices, and a marinade. When cooking with fresh herbs and quality spices whatever you’re cooking is getting a special treatment to a one-way ticket to flavortown.

The Make-Ahead & Plan-Ahead Factor

Maybe a bit obvious, but this process lends itself to a much more flavor than if we made the recipe the day of cooking. Allowing the pork chops to brine & marinate creates what is really in line with restaurant quality food.

Here’s the best part. You don’t have to brine or marinate to create a great pork chop. Those make-ahead options only allow better use of the time hanging out in the refrigerator. You’ll know it was worth the time when you and your family start chomping down on moist perfectly cook pork chops.

I’ll talk about the simple brine now. I want you to think about Sunday fried chicken after church. Probably the best memories you have of eating fried chicken ever. Would you like to know the untold country cook magical secret to this mysterious fried chicken? The answer is they would brine to chicken overnight. A simple mixture of equal parts sugar and salt does something nothing short of a food miracle. The main reason you’d want to brine anything is the added moisture the meat is given through the process of osmosis. Another reason people started brining meats is the extended shelf life the meats receive. When meats are submerged in a liquid such as water the water creates the perfect seal around the food protecting it from the air and denaturing. Hence the longer shelf life.

Foods that get Brined:

  • Pork
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Beef ( Corned Beef & Pastrami are both created from brining for a minimum of one week in water, spices, and tinted curing mixture (Pink Salt) )

Todays Tender Juicy Seared Pork Chops brine recipe is as follows:

Side Note- The Brine:  You could bring the water to a boil and turn it off then add your brine ingredients then cool it down over an ice bath. This step isn’t require this time because the pork will have enough time to absorb the flavors. Yet, bringing it to a boil does offer a stronger brine flavor.

Brine Recipe:

  • 4 cups of water ( Add water to the container the pork will live inside the refrigerator )
  • 12-15 Sprigs of fresh Thyme, Dried works also, just crush the thyme in your hands first to release the natural oils
  • 5 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 1 Cup of Salt ( The salt is really the main ingredient that creates the additional moisture in the pork, crazy right? But works all so well…and the pork will not be salty
  • 1 Cup of Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp whole Black Peppercorns, ground works, use 1/2 Tbsp

Allow the pork to sit overnight and let the brine to do its magic. Do not store for more than 5 days as the salt and sugar will start to break down the protein and become too soft. Up until then, the brine is tenderizing your meat. Score! 🙂

The Marinate:

Ok, the pork has been brining for one day, now it’s time to move the pork on over to the marinate we made the same time of the brine. I’d go that route if I were you, it just makes everything so much easier to do all your prep work at once.

Remove the pork from the brine and pat dry.

Tender Juicy Seared Pork Chops Marinate Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Thyme
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic minced/pasted ( Pasting- Just smash the garlic flat with your knife to crush the cellular walls in the garlic, Increased flavor profile doing this )
  • 5 Star Anise  ( Crush with the bottom of a bowl ) ( If you can’t find, just do not use )
  • 1 Tbsp Coriander Seeds ( Crush with the Star Anise )
  • 1 Tbsp Paprika
  • 1 Tbsp Chili Powder

The flavor is going to be heavenly. I was really impressed the first time I made this. I got the marinate idea from Chef Gordon Ramsey. ( He’s really not as mean as people think due to the show Hells Kitchen, he’s a strong family man  and former professional soccer star from the UK )

Add the patted dry pork to the marinade and into the refrigerator for at least one hour, overnight is best.

Cooking The Tender Juicy Pork Chops

Tender Juicy Seared Pork Chops

This is so easy people. Set your oven to 200 degrees or the lowest setting. Generally, pork chops overcook in seconds and the reason for the low temperature of 200 degrees.  On the stovetop, heat a pan over medium-high heat, closer to medium heat. Add olive oil to the pan ( 3-4 Tbsp). Butter will burn. Note: Remove as much of the marinate pieces as you can from the pork chops so they do not burn. Add the pork to the pan one at a time. The “one at a time” reason is the heat from the pan is reduced each time you add another piece of pork chop. 10-15 seconds apart when adding to the pan. Sear one side, about 2 minutes then flip them over and start basing the pork chops with a spoon covering the pork chops with the olive oil already in the pan. After both sides are seared place the pork into the oven for 4 to 6 minutes. The timing will vary depending on how thick the pork chops you purchased are.  Once out of the oven, remove the pork chops from the cooking tray or pan and place on a room temperature plate and rest the pork for 4-6 minutes covered with aluminum foil.

 

Super Tender Juicy Pan Seared Pork Chops
Incredible flavor and tender pork chops makes for the perfect busy weeknight dinner
Ingredients
  • 4 cups of water ( Add water to the container the pork will live in the refrigerator )
  • 12-15 Sprigs of fresh Thyme, Dried works also, just crush the thyme in your hands first to release the natural oils
  • 5 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 1 Cup of Salt ( The salt is really the main ingredient that creates the addition moisture in the pork, crazy right? But works all so well…and the pork will not be salty
  • 1 Cup of Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp whole Black Peppercorns, ground works, use ½ Tbsp
Instructions
Cooking the Pork:
  1. This is so easy people. Set your oven to 200 degrees or the lowest setting. Generally, pork chops over- cook in seconds and the reason for the low temperature of 200 degrees. On the stove top, heat a pan to medium-high heat, closer to medium heat. Add olive oil to the pan ( 3-4 Tbsp). Butter will burn. Note: Remove as much of the marinate pieces as you can from the pork chops so they do not burn. Add the pork to the pan one at a time. The “one at a time” reason is the heat from the pan is reduced each time you add another piece of pork chop. 10-15 seconds apart when adding to the pan. Sear one side, about 2 minutes then flip them over and start basing the pork chops with a spoon covering the pork chops with the olive oil already in the pan. After both sides are seared place the pork into the oven for 4 to 6 minutes. The timing will vary depending on how thick the pork chops you purchased are. Once out of the oven, remove the pork chops from the cooking tray or pan and place on a room temperature plate and rest the pork for 4-6 minutes covered with aluminum foil.

Tender Juicy Seared Pork Chops

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Chef Steven Pennington

Chef Steven Pennington

Content Creator

Le Cordon Bleu Chef sharing food adventures from around the world with a style of cooking rooted in southwestern flavors using French culinary technique.

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