THE BEST PAN SEARED PORK CHOPS
· 4 Pork Loin Rib Chops, center cut
· 4 teaspoons sugar (This is the secret ingredient for extra moist and tender pork chops, so don't skip it!)
· 2 teaspoons kosher salt
· 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
· 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
· 2 tablespoons shallots, finely chopped
· 1/4 cup dry white wine
· 2 teaspoons freshly chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
· 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
· 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1. Early in the day or the night before, season each of the pork chops with 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper on BOTH sides of the chop. Season each chop in this manner. Place in the fridge. Remove the pork chops from the fridge an hour or two before you are ready to cook them. This will allow them to come to room temperature for more even cooking.
2. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 450° F and heat a large cast-iron skillet over mid-high heat. Allow the skillet to heat up while you get the ingredients ready for the herb butter sauce. Chop the shallots and herbs, measure the wine and set aside. Note: You can use a stainless steel skillet as long as it is oven safe.
3. When the skillet is nice and hot, add 2 tablespoons butter. Watch out for the steam! The butter will melt and brown almost immediately. Use a wooden spoon to spread it around if needed. Add the pork chops and sear quickly. Because there is sugar on the pork chops and we are working with a pretty hot pan, the pork chops will sear quickly, so keep an eye on them. You'll only want to leave them for about 30 seconds to a minute each side, but that will vary depending on how hot your pan is. You want to get a nice crispy crust on the outside without burning the chops. Once the one side is nicely seared, turn it over and sear the other side. Be careful not to burn them! NOTE: If you have to sear longer than a minute each side to get that nice crispy outside, be sure to check the temp with an instant-read thermometer before putting in the oven. If it reads 140°F they are done and you'll want to skip to step #5.
4. When the chops are nicely seared on both sides, remove them from the heat and put the skillet right into the oven. Cook for about 5 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 140°F. Use an instant-read thermometer to check the temp. TIP: It is better to slightly under cook the pork than to over cook it. If you slice it and find it is under cooked you can always put it under the broiler to finish it up if needed.
5. When the pork reaches 140°F, remove it from the skillet to a cutting board to rest for at least 10 minutes. While the pork is resting, work on the herb butter sauce.
6. In the same skillet, over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter (if needed - if there is enough fat in the skillet you can use that in place of the butter) and add the chopped shallots. Cook, stirring, until the shallots begin to soften. This should just be a couple minutes. Then add 1/4 cup wine and allow it to reduce by half, about 1-2 minutes, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the pan. This is a tasty way to 'scrub' those stuck on bits. They add flavor to the sauce, and you'll be happy you scraped them up when you clean the skillet! Reduce heat to mid-low and add the fresh herbs with 1 tablespoon butter. The butter gives the sauce a delicious richness, so don't skip it this time! Allow the butter to melt into the sauce. Stir to combine. Give it a taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.
7. Remove from heat and add the pork chops back into the skillet, turning to cover in the herb butter sauce. Serve with the sauce and enjoy!