A few weeks ago I went out to dinner with some girlfriends and did my favorite thing: ordered something that I never make at home myself.
This time? A pork chop.
Yes, pork chops – not terribly exciting, but the one and only time I made pork chops was as a newly married 20-something who knew very little about cooking, especially when it came to cooking meat. Those pork chops I made in our little apartment more than a decade ago more closely resembled an old shoe than a juicy, great tasting piece of well cooked pork.
But I’ve been thinking about pork chops lately because I keep noticing them on the list of meat items when I’m shopping at the local markets. Obviously people like pork chops – it’s such a classic, Leave-it-to-Beaver style dinner! I knew my pork chop problem was more an issue of “user error” than anything else.
Fast forward to me sitting in a fancy pants restaurant with a couple of friends (and a glass of wine) on a Saturday night – when I saw pork chops on the dinner menu, I knew it was time to let a real chef make them so I could see what well cooked pork chop was supposed to be like. And let me tell you – the pork chop I had that evening was incredible! I came home from my girly dinner date completely satisfied, and more importantly – completely inspired to figure out how to make a good tasting pork chop at home.
I’m pleased to report that after a little trial and error, I now know how to make delicious, juicy, non-shoe leather pork chops at home! And it only took me 10 years to figure it out.
2 thick cut, bone-in pork chops
Simple Spice Rub:
1 tbsp curry powder (or any combination of your favorite Indian spices – cumin, coriander and turmeric are the ones I usually have on hand.)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt and pepper
1 tsp coconut oil, melted (I’ve been getting away from cooking with olive oil and save it for cold or low heat dishes)
Pre-heat oven and oven proof skillet (I use my cast iron grill pan) to 375 F. While your oven is preheating, mix spices with oil and give your pork chops a spicy rub down.
Once your pan is hot, remove from oven and move to the stove top over medium high heat. Lay chops in hot skillet and sear for about a minute, flipping over once to brown both sides before moving them to the oven.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes depending on the thickness. They are safe to eat when the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Served at home with a simple sauteed kale and a pile of steamed cauliflower. (Although if your cauliflower is still steaming,
perhaps wait a minute or two before you jump in there with your camera.)
Come on, come on Cauliflower! We’re ready to dive in already!
I think it’s safe to say that pork chops have officially been added to the dinner time rotation around here. Just call me June Cleaver.
Are you a pork chop pro? Any tips or favorite recipes to share with us? You pork chop lovers out there, please spill the beans!