Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pork Chop Redemption

Hail the mighty pork chops.  After a bloody, then overly crispy battle, they have returned blazing and victorious with redolent porky yumminess.

"Blazing" and "victorious" is more than likely overstating the situation, but I did venture to try pork chops again for New Year's Eve dinner, and it went much better this time than the previous.  Well, I didn't cry, which is a vast improvement. 

Adapted from Tyler Florence 

A few notes: I made only 3 pork chops, but I'm giving the recipe for 4 because that's easier. And, the original recipe was much fancier and had something about roasted grapes, two cast iron skillets, allspice, and other doodads.  Mine wasn't as fancy.
  • 4 bone-in pork chops, each about 1.5" thick
  • 2 quarts room temperature water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt (1/8 cup if you're using regular table salt)
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 4 slices prosciutto (about 1 oz)
  • 2 oz shredded asiago (I just said 2 oz--I actually have no idea. I used about 1/2 to 3/4 cup shredded asiago)
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
Hi pork. I love you.

No really, I do. Come back!

In a large bowl or other container, combine the water, sugar and salt.  Mix until sugar and salt dissolve.  I then poured the brine into a gallon sized bag because I was only using 3 pork chops and they all fit, but if 4 pork chops won't fit in a gallon-sized bag with the brine, then go ahead with your container.  

Store in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, and up to 2 hours.

Remove oinkies from brine, shake off excess brine, and pat them dry with a paper towel.  The next step is optional, but if you have time then go for it.  I laid out the pork chops on a tray and then put them in the refrigerator for a few hours. Purpose? Dry out the surface just a touch so that when you sear the pork chops, they develop a nice crust instead of steaming. Did it make a huge difference? Dunno.

But I get to sit here and write that I let them air-dry for a while. Wheeee!!!!

When they're all dried, whether by a paper towel rubdown or some time, naked, in the fridge, take a knife and make a horizontal slit in the side of each pork chop.  Kind of like a pocket.

Stuff the pocket you just made with 1 slice of prosciutto and about 1 to 2 TBS of shredded asiago.

Can't see what I'm doing? Here's another angle.

Which is oddly disturbing, but you get a better idea of what I'm doing.

Slide in some toothpicks sideways to seal the pocket.  No need to season the exterior, there is plenty 'o' salt in these.

Heat about 2 to 3 TBS olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Plonk your pork chops down and cook until a nice crust forms, about 5 minutes.  

Turn heat down to medium, and carefully flip the pork chops.

And cook until just slightly pink on the inside, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Or something like that. It got really touch and go for me at this point because I had no idea what I was doing. Haven't heard that from me before, have ya?

Next time, I will probably finish the pork chops off in the oven (Tyler Florence says 425 degrees for 5 to 7 minutes).

I served these chops with roasted broccoli sprinkled with parmesan, asiago, and lemon juice, and a warm potato salad.

Oh, and don't forget to remove the toothpicks before eating. I seriously started to freak out when I was making my first cut into my precious, labored-over pork chop and couldn't saw through the damn thing.  But all was well. Sneaky toothpick.



  1. Those are some serious porkchops! And I bet they were super tasty!

  2. I love pork chops. this just made me super hungry- they look amazing! I love the combo of two pork products :)

  3. yum! I have not yet made a pork chop because I'm afraid. But that sear looks delish.

  4. I haven't tackled stuffed chops but I think you just inspired me. Yay for pork stuffed pork! With Cheese! And potatoes! Mmmm.

  5. These look yummy. I might have to try this.

  6. ahhhh... cook until slightly pink! the secret to tender stuffed pork chops! mine always come out like little lead weights.

  7. OMG that looks so good. We're a no-pork household, but if I could sneak over to someone else's house and use their kitchen, I might make this.

  8. Have you tried boneless pork chops? I find them much easier to cook, and more meat. Possibly easier to stuff as well. Stuffed pork chops was the first real meal I ever made, but this recipe looks WAY better! Pork stuffed with pork and cheese. Drool.

  9. I keep coming back to look at the pic of that crispily browned fat...

  10. stuffed pig, sounds so good!

  11. I love pockets and I love pork. So this has got to be a WIN.

  12. thanks everyone, glad it got some of your tastebuds going!

    darwinda: heehee i like that, stuffed pig.

    maylove: no, i haven't tried boneless pork chops--good suggestion!