Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Thick-cut Pork Chops

These intimidating chops were actually pretty easy to cook. They're called an "Iowa Chop", and they're just a thick-cut, bone-in, center-cut chop. I've discovered that the secret to juicy pork chops is to start with a cold pan and obsessively checking the temperature. I find they're best just under 160 degrees.

Pork Chops

2 1-lb. Iowa Chops
2-3 Tbsp. salt
2 Tbsp. white pepper
2 Tbsp. dried sage
2 Tbsp. Smoked (or regular) paprika
3 Tbsp. oil

Sauce (optional):
1/2 c. chicken broth
1/2 c. white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
2 Tbsp. corn starch
1 tsp. white pepper
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 c. cold water

Preheat the oven to 350.

Pat the chops dry with some paper towel. Sprinkle them liberally with the salt and spices and allow them to warm up to room temperature while you start the quinoa and chop the cauliflower.

Place the oil in your pan, but do not pre-heat the pan. Add the chops to the pan and place them on the stove. Heat the pan up to medium, turning the chop over after it browns on one side. Flip the chop and allow it to brown on the other side, ~3-5 min.

Look at those monsters! Dan was the one who picked them out--how extravagant!

Place the pan into the oven and bake the chops, uncovered, turning once or twice, until the internal temperature reaches ~155 (or just below that). This took 25 minutes for my chops. Remove the chops from the pan and losely place some tin foil over them. The internal temperature will rise to about 160.

Return the pan to the stove and add the chicken broth and white wine. Bring it to a simmer and allow it to reduce a bit and the alcohol to cook off. Taste as it cooks to make sure it doesn't get too salty. Stir the corn starch into the cold water and pour it into the pan, whisking the mixture as you go. Add some more white pepper and a blob of dijon mustard and allow it to simmer a few more moments, until the sauce is clear and thickened. Adjust the seasonings if need be.

You can get fancier with the sauce, but corn starch worked fine as a thickener.

Cooked to perfection! Dinner, and lunch the next day :)


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