When you think of making something special for dinner, pork chops might not spring to mind. We tend to associate this affordable and accessible cut of meat with weeknight meals, but the truth is that the humble
pork chop can be deliciously dressed up to suit any occasion.
Mild in taste, they are perfect for absorbing the flavors of brines, marinades, and rubs. The important thing is not to overcook them. (Pork now can be safely cooked to medium/medium rare. For best results, monitor doneness by temperature not cooking time. Look for an internal temperature from 135°F to 140°F for just slightly pink chops, which is the key to keeping them juicy and tender.)
These four recipes celebrate the versatility of a bone-in rib pork chop, with each delivering a different approach to flavor and preparation: Simple-to-prepare breaded bone-in pork chops are the perfect foil for peppery greens topped with a lemony dressing studded with citrusy-sweet mostarda. Succulent and flavorfully browned, pan-seared pork chops are transformed into something grand when draped in a decadent sauce made from veal demi-glace and bacon lardons. Roasted bone-in chops with artichokes and potatoes glazed in balsamic and thyme make a flavorful one-pot meal. And finally, double-thick chops are brined, then stuffed with sauerkraut, apples, rye breadcrumbs, and cheese
for an impressive meal.
How to French a Chop
As a food stylist as well as a recipe developer, I’m partial to bone-in rib chops, especially when the bone is frenched. Not only does this cut look impressive on the plate, but the bone also delivers on flavor and juiciness
as it insulates the meat around it during cooking, helping to keep it moist.
Tips for Getting a Great Sear
- Start with thick chops. They are forgiving and can be seared to a deep golden brown without overcooking. Thick chops are also versatile and can be pounded thin for quick-cooking techniques like pan-frying.
- Blot the chop dry before searing. To promote the development of a good brown crust, the surface of the chop should be dry when it hits the pan.
- Use high heat. Make sure the pan is well heated before adding the chop(s), and don’t overcrowd the pan. Crowding will make the surface temperature of the pan drop rapidly, increasing browning time and the chances of overcooking.
- Sear the sides of the chop, too. Lift the chop with tongs while it is browning in the pan, and rotate the chop, keeping the fatty edge in contact with the hot surface to brown it evenly.