Cooking perfect pork chops is very easy to do, but there are a couple of guidelines. If your pork chops aren't organic, it's best to brine them several hours before cooking them, which will improve the flavor and juiciness. Browning the chops on both sides in a skillet and then pan-roasting them in the oven will also ensure deliciousness, as long as you monitor their temperature with an instant-read thermometer. In this recipe, the caramelized onions smother the chops while they're finishing in the oven.
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup salt (kosher)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 large sprig rosemary (fresh)
- 2 cups water (iced)
- 4 pork chops (bone in)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 large onions (yellow or Vidalia)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon rosemary (fresh, minced)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Brine the chops: Combine the water, 1/4 cup Kosher salt and 1/4 cup brown sugar in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar. When the salt and sugar are dissolved, take the saucepan off the heat and add the rosemary sprig and iced water. Keep stirring until the brine is completely cooled down.
- Put the pork chops in a large Ziploc plastic bag, and pour in the brine. Squeeze air out of the plastic bag and seal tightly. Lay the bag in a baking dish (in case there's any leakage) and refrigerate 4 hours and up to 8 hours. (Alternatively, arrange the pork chops in a baking dish in a single layer, pour the brine over the chops and cover with plastic wrap. Half-way through the brining time, turn the chops over.)
- One hour before cooking, take the pork chops out of the refrigerator, drain and discard the brine and rosemary sprig. Pat the pork chops dry and cover loosely with paper towels.
- Make the caramelized onions: Melt the butter and 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon brown sugar, about 1 teaspoon Kosher salt and several good grinds of fresh pepper. Cover for 10 minutes.
- Remove the cover and stir the onions. Saute for another 15 or 20 minutes, stirring the onions occasionally and watching that they don't burn. When the onions have caramelized to your liking, take the pan off the heat.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly season the pork chops with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, then sprinkle the minced rosemary over both sides of all the chops, pressing down lightly to adhere the rosemary to the pork.
- Heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil in an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the pork chops on both sides, 2 minutes per side. Cover the pork chops with the caramelized onions, then put the skillet into the oven.
- Bake the chops 15 minutes until their internal temperature reaches 138°F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove the skillet from the oven, and let the chops rest 5 minutes before serving.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||34 g|
|Saturated Fat||12 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||14 g|
|Dietary Fiber||1 g|