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April 11, 2015

Pork Chops with Sage Butter - Weekend Cooking

Today is Julia Child's birthday!

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
Bon Appetit
(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)
Kosher salt
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.

My Notes:

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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14 comments:

  1. I've been eying up that recipe ... now I know to get off my butt and give it a go. Some of Bon Appetit's issues from the last 18 months or so have been fabulous.

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    1. Lately, I've been having great success with Bon Appetit and Food & Wine. I'm trying to cook something new every week and it's been paying off with lots of great new recipes.

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  2. I will admit that I have been afraid of cooking pork. Mostly because I definitely have overcooked. I think that's why I don't really like pork chops all that much. They get dry and tough. I'll try this, but my hubby does not eat garlic, so that always makes things complicated. Sage would likely be enough of a flavor ingredient though.

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    1. My husband doesn't eat garlic, either, Kay. I'm sure this recipe would be even more delicious with the garlic, but we didn't miss it. Also, from the latest studies, you don't have to worry too much about under-cooking pork. Take a look at this article.

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  3. I've been in a real rut where pork is concerned. Only do larger cuts, slow braises (2 hours+) just because I've had dry chops, cooked quick. My braises always come out so good, but this may tempt me to give chops another go.

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    1. Claudia, I haven't done much in the way of braising. I'll have to look for some recipes and give that method a try. I did buy a couple of pork tenderloins to try next weekend, so we'll see how that goes.

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  4. Pork and sage sounds like the perfect combo to me.

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    1. Kathy, this is the first time I have ever used fresh sage leaves. The only other time I've used the spice is ground in stuffing. This was so good with the slightly browned butter. Love at first taste!

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  5. Fab dish! And your header is just spectacular! Cheers from Carole's Chatter

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    1. Thanks, Carole! The chops are quite good... I bought more this past weekend. :)

      I love spring in the Midwest. The tulips and daffodils are so cheerful. Thanks for popping by.

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  6. I have a recipe for pork chops from Real Simple which I love; it calls for green apples to be cut in half and browned in butter, then the pork which has been coated with cumin and other spices. But, yours looks even better! I use the same Martha Stewart macaroni and cheese as well. Birds of a feather...

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    1. Ooh, your recipe sounds very good! I was going to ask you to send it to me, but realized I could simply ask Google. Is this the recipe? I'll have to try it! Thanks!

      Isn't Martha's Mac & Cheese wonderful?! When I first made it, I thought it was so involved and complicated. I've made it so many times now, I could fix it in my sleep. ;)

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  7. My husband doesn't like pork (though he loves bacon..go figure!) I'm a fan of butterflied pork steaks, gently fried in butter and then finished off under the grill with a layer of thinly sliced pineapple and cheese.

    Happy cooking,
    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

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    1. Mmmm, your recipe for butterflied pork steaks sounds delicious! What type of cheese do you use? When you say under the grill, is that the same as under the broiler in an oven? Definitely want to try this recipe! Thanks for popping in!

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