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Oct 18, 2006 04:44 AM

Fatted Calf Smoked Pork Chops Redux

About a month ago I picked up 4 smoked pork chops at Fatted Calf in the Saturday Berkeley Farmers' Mkt. I paid really big bucks for them - approx $10 each. The guy talked me into them and, after cooking up the first 2 on the Weber, I felt they were dry, overly smoky and had hardly any pork taste.

I think I must have overcooked them because tonight we had the other 2 and I pan fried them. This time I did NOT overcook them. It's best to repeat Julia Child's mantra when cooking pork "Trichinae are killed when pork is rare." This time they were juicy and delicious and worth the big bucks I paid. Once a year I figure we can afford $10 pork chops.

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  1. Hey,

    It's really easy to cook pork chops too long. Even those thick ones from FC.
    The last time I got their chops I pan seared with a lard smeared cast iron pan for 2 minutes a side. Installed in to a preheated 400 degree oven until an internal temp of 138, pull let rest for 10 min.
    I've found using the oven is a much safer way to insure juicy pork. Plus you get to make a pan sauce.
    Did you try the lamb brochettes this week?


    1. I tried their linguisa for the first time last night. Best fresh sausage I've had from Fatted Calf, which is saying something.

      1. Thanks for posting this, oakjoan -- because of this post, I got two of the Red Wattle smoked chops they had this weekend. I just had one tonight, One of the best pure pork dishes I've ever made or eaten (not counting any of the many bacon dishes in my life). I was a little nervous about over cooking it, but I just seared it in a cast iron pan for about four minutes on each side, and then slid into a 400 oven for about seven more, and let rest. I'm very glad I have another of these tucked away in my freezer.

        3 Replies
        1. re: JasmineG

          How thick are those chops? Four minutes on "sear" on each side would make most chops well done.

          Not only does cooking past 138 kill trichinae, but trichinae has pretty much been eliminated from the US pork supply. You could eat good quality (i.e. of the same quality of other meats/fish you'd eat raw) pork raw, if you could get over the psychological inhibitions against uncooked pork.

          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            Oh, man, pork sashimi is the best. I've only had it once, at a place where I knew the chef and he knew how much I love rare and raw meat. I wish more places served it.

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              They are really thick, and are bone in, so they were definitely not well done. A few weeks ago I made (non FC) pork chops that were thinner and boneless, and only did the searing, and they were about perfect, but I thought the thickness of these and the bone would need more time, and was right.

          2. Is anyone able to opine on how these pork chops compare to the pork chop served at Bacar? If so, how do they compare?

            6 Replies
            1. re: Jeff

              I haven't been to Bacar, but I'll echo Jasmine's opinion that it is one of the best (non cured) pieces of pork I've ever had. Better than NOPA's chop, which is an excellent chop. I grilled it up with some of Mrs. Mousse's homemade applesauce and we were in heaven!

              1. re: Jeff

                You do realize we're talking about smoked pork chops, eh?

                1. re: oakjoan

                  Yes, I realize that. The pork chops at Bacar are also smoked. See my Aug 7 reply here:


                  1. re: Jeff

                    It's hard to beat Kurobuta in terms of texture and fat distribution. I do prefer the flavors of the Red Wattle. Both are delicious pigs. I guess the advantage of FC is that since you cook it at home they only cost you $10 a piece.

                2. re: Jeff

                  Don't know what the FC chops are, but the chops at Bacar are Kurobuta (Berkshire) pork.

                  1. re: ML8000

                    The last set of Fatted Calf chops are Red Wattle.