Caramelized Onion Smothered Pork Chops

Pan roasted pork chops with onions
Dennis Gottlieb/Getty Images
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Brining: 6 hrs
Total: 6 hrs 45 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 4 pork chops
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
266 Calories
15g Fat
23g Carbs
11g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 266
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 20%
Saturated Fat 6g 29%
Cholesterol 48mg 16%
Sodium 3964mg 172%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 16g
Protein 11g
Vitamin C 5mg 27%
Calcium 93mg 7%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 304mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Cooking perfect pork chops is very easy to do, but there are a couple of guidelines. 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 kosher salt

  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed, divided

  • 1 large sprig fresh rosemary, plus 1 tablespoon minced, divided

  • 2 cups ice water

  • 4 bone-in pork chops

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

  • 2 large yellow onions, or Vidalia onions, sliced

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Steps to Make It

  1. 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.

  2. Put the pork chops in a large zip-top plastic bag, and pour in the brine. Squeeze the 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. Halfway through the brining time, turn the chops over.)

  3. 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.

  4. Make the caramelized onions: Melt the butter and 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a large sauté 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 with a lid for 10 minutes.

  5. Remove the lid and stir the onions. Sauté for another 15 or 20 minutes, stirring the onions occasionally and watching that they don't burn, turning down the heat if they are browning too quickly.  When the onions have caramelized to your liking, take the pan off the heat.

  6. 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.

  7. Heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers.  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.

  8. 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.

How to Store

Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.