Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it. ~ Julia Child
April 11, 1954: She eventually mastered the art of French cooking, but at 41, Julia Child was still figuring it all out. An attempt to make a beurre blanc for sea bass failed, much to her “quite hurt surprise.” (From Goodreads)
Well, one thing I've learned in the past 30+ years of cooking is that, like Julia Child, I'm still figuring it all out and that it takes a lot of practice. After trying America's Taste Kitchen recipe for Smothered Pork Chops with Onions and Bacon, I was on a mission to find the perfect recipe for pork chops. Each week, I try to have a wide variety of protein choices on our dinner menu. Chicken, shrimp, salmon, steak and ground beef always get top billing, but pork never seems to make the list unless I fix ribs. I think that's about to change. I came across a simple recipe for Your New Favorite Pork Chops in the March 2015 issue of Bon Appetit. It looked wonderful and I was pleased to see that it only requires seven ingredients. Perfect for a weeknight meal after a long day at work, followed by a pre-dinner walk or bike ride.
Your New Favorite Pork Chops
(photo from magazine)
Doesn't that look delicious? Let me tell you, this is a winner! It was so good, I made it a second time later that week. But be forewarned. It's all about getting the right cut of pork and watching your time. I can't state strongly enough the importance of a good meat thermometer and timer. You don't want to guess with this recipe!
Bon Appetit's Pork Chops with Sage Butter
(aka Your New Favorite Pork Chop)
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 1 1/2"-thick bone-in pork rib chops (8-10 oz. each)
Freshly ground pepper
8 sprigs sage (fresh)
2 garlic cloves, peeled, smashed
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Season pork chops all over (including the fat cap) with salt and pepper. Cook pork chops until bottom side is golden brown, about 1 minute. Turn and cook on other side about 1 minute before turning again. Repeat this process, turning about every minute, until chops are deep golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 135 degrees, 8-10 minutes (cooking time will depend on thickness of chops). Do Not Overcook!
Remove pan from heat and add sage, garlic, and butter, smashing garlic into butter. Tilt skillet and spoon foaming butter and drippings over pork chops, making sure to baste the fat cap as well as the rib. Transfer pork chops to a cutting board and let rest at least 5 minutes (pork will come to 145 degrees as it sits).
Cut away bone and slice pork about 1/4" thick. Serve with any juices from the cutting board spooned over top.
Bon Appetit's Note:
Though it may seem like a counter-intuitive practice, extra flipping is the secret to the golden-brown crust on these chops.
Why we flip the chops: Frequent flipping produces a deep-brown crust and an evenly cooked rosy interior—plus, the meat cooks in less time since both sides are in near-constant contact with the pan. For best results, try this technique with the thickest, fattiest chops you can find.
The first night I made these, I used a pork rib chop that was not bone-in. I couldn't find one with the bone in at my grocery store. Nonetheless, the meat was tender and delicious! I probably cooked it for 8 minutes. After letting it rest for 5 minutes, it was at the desired temp of 145.
The second night I tried this recipe, I used a bone-in loin chop (pictured above). I should have used the meat thermometer as I was cooking the chops, rather than when I thought they were finished because I cooked them a little bit too long. Very disappointing! With the exception of the meat next to the bone, these chops were dry and tough. However, the flavor was outstanding!
This recipe will become one of my go-to dinners, but only as long as I take the time to get the right cut of meat from the butcher counter. It simply must be a pork rib chop (with or without the bone).
I served the chops with Martha Stewart's Macaroni & Cheese and sautéed zucchini & onions.
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