I have two of the best words for a romantic dinner: impressive AND simple! My pan seared pork chops are brined and reversed seared making them juicy and tender with minimal hands on work.
And then the sauce! Creamy, spicy, sweet; it’s everything thing you want in a pan sauce. Open a bottle of wine and have date night in.
Today we’re having beautifully juicy pork chops.
I just have a couple of tips before we into the recipe details.
What do you need?
- Pork Loin Chops – Thick cut (at least 1 1/2 inches) and bone in. Try to find a chop with a nice bone ‘handle’ and a round meat portion since they look the most impressive.
- Brine – A combo of kosher salt and brown sugar.
- Sauce Ingredients – A nice, crisp apple (like Honeycrisp) and good, middle of the road bourbon (nothing too fancy is needed) along with some cream and the rest of the flavorings will make a rich sauce for your pork.
How to make this
To make pan seared pork chops start with a brine then reverse sear for a caramelized crust and juicy meat and finish with an apple bourbon cream sauce.
Coat the pork chops with a mixture of brown sugar and kosher salt. Let them brine in the refrigerator on a rack for at least 8 hours.
Tip: Make sure you use kosher salt here! If you are using table salt use half the amount or they will be too salty.
2. Reverse Sear
Blot the chops dry, then heat the oven to 250F. Bake them on the rack until they reach 105-110F with a thermometer.
Tip: This is a great application for an oven probe thermometer (such as the Thermoworks Chef Alarm). Just put it in the center and set an alarm for your temperature.
3. Pan Sear
Now that your meat is warmed through, all you need is a quick sear in a very hot pan. I like to use cast iron since it holds heat so well and is unlikely to stick to the meat. Sear for a minute or two on both sides then pick up the chops with a pair of tongs so you have them both stacked up together and press the fatty edges down into the skillet.
4. Make the Pan Sauce
While your pork rests, make the sauce. Start by searing up the apple slices. Then, deglaze and make the rest of the sauce. Simmer it all until thick and finish with some fresh rosemary.
Plate up the chops (maybe with some cream cheese mashed potatoes??). Then divide the sauce and apples between them.
If you try my recipe, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! And I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
– Stay Safe, Annemarie
Thick Cut Pan Seared Pork Chops with Apples and Cream
- 2 thick cut bone-in pork loin chops, 1 1/2 – 2 inches thick
- 2 tbsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 firm red apple, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp fresh chopped rosemary
- Mix together the salt and brown sugar and rub evenly over the pork chops. Place the chops on a rack over a baking sheet in the refrigerator and let brine for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.
- When they are done brining, heat the oven to 250F. Blot the chops dry, put them in the oven, and bake them until they reach 105-110F, 20-25 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a cast iron pan until very hot and just starting to smoke. Add the pork and sear 1 1/2 – 2 minutes per side. Then sear the edges of the chops by lifting them together with tongs and pressing the sides against the skillet bottom. Chops should be no more than 130F when taken off the heat.
- Let the chops rest on a plate while they come up to 140F.
- Reduce the heat for the skillet to low. Add the apple slices and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds, continuing to stir.
- Add bourbon and bring to boil. Cook until reduced and syrupy. Add cream and mustard and boil for 1-2 minutes to make a thick sauce. Stir in rosemary.
- Serve pork chops with the sauce.
- Brining: Don’t skip it! Brining will make even the most average of supermarket chops taste special.
- Temperature: Resist the urge to cook the meat to a higher temperature. Even a few degrees can change the best pork from juicy and tender to tough and chewy.
- Peeling the Apple: You can if you want. I find it to be more work than it’s worth.