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I've never made pork chops

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I would like to make pork chops soon. I've never made them and I don't really have memories of eating them. I would like to make some that are on the bone as I prefer fatty meat on the bone to lean boneless cuts.

What should I buy? What is the cut I'm looking for and what is the best way to prepare it? If you have recipes I would love to look at them. I'm not against slow cookers if you have a great recipe for one.

Thanks

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  1. I prefer the rib chops. Loin are also good, but I still like rib better. Get the "thick cut" if you can. An inch thick or inch and a half.

    So many ways to cook good pork chops.

    You can grill them. We do it with basic salt and pepper. The flame provides the rest of the flavor.
    Bake them with a mayo and cornflake crust. S&P, spread on a thin layer of mayo, then press into crushed cornflakes.

    Here's a thread recently that has a lot of great ideas
    http://www.chow.com/topics/413658

    4 Replies
    1. re: QueenB

      Brining them with some salt, water, brown sugar, pepper, garlic and then grilling them is awfully good too.

      1. re: Candy

        This is unbeatable intro to fantastic THICK rib chops. I think that there is something almost magical about taking a pale pork chop, laying it on the grill and watching it turn into a golden delight.

        I think that the key to the brine is primarily the salt. I use the Morton Kosher salt -- it is a bit less fluffy than Crystal and gives me very consistent results. SImilarly I have found that the cheapest refined sugar works perfectly well in the brine. I don't think that black pepper dissolves appreciably in water, and I prefer to sort of roll the chop's fat edge in it for both flavor and presentation. Garlic is optional, as is hot sauce, cider, wine, gin, vanilla, almost anything with a "white" flavor.

        1/2 cup Morton Kosher Salt
        1/2 cup sugar
        1 quart water

        2 quarts ice water

        mix sugar, salt and first quart of water in pan heating until all is dissolved. Pour ice water into a gallon sized ziploc. Add cooled mixture and any optional flavors. Place chops in bag, squeeze out air and refrigerate so that all meat is submerged. Shortest time that will make this worthwhile is probably about 30 minutes, I try to never the chops in the brine for more than 8 hrs -- the salt becomes too pronounced. I also like to give the chops a quick rinse in fresh water before cooking. I find the best results occur when the surface of the meat is dried off, a dab with paper helps immensely. Put these on a pre-heated grill of about 500 degrees, turning as the juices barely start to surface. Probably 6-9 minutes until they are golden.

        1. re: renov8r

          I'm drooling. Unfortunately I live in a condo and we can't have grills.

          1. re: nissenpa

            move!

    2. This recipe for smothered pork chops is almost impossible to do wrong:

      http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

      This slow cooked pork chops recipe is also very good if you can get them thick, like they seem to come here in Iowa:

      http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

      1. Since you've never made em before, just stick to something simple maybe. Just rub em with thyme or herbs d provence and sear them in a hot pan. If it is a thicker cut, you can finish in medium hot oven.

        Once you've made them simply, you can do all sorts of other things. My favorite is stuffing them with a stuffing of breadcrumbs, rehydrated dried cherries, onion, and garlic.

        1. Definitely start simple then progress to more complicated.

          Marcella Hazan's cookbooks include a yummy recipe smothering them in a sauce of tomatoes, cream, and dried porcinis. Served with polenta.

          I also heartily endorse the idea of stuffing. Sage is a natural with pork.

          BTW, applesauce with pork chops is a classic.

          7 Replies
          1. re: Louise

            Louise, that recipe sounds delish! Do you have it handy??

            1. re: dream_of_giusti

              I would like that too. DH brought back some dried mushrooms from Poland. Do you think I could use those in place of the poricinis?

              1. re: nissenpa

                Nissenpa, it may be that what you have *is* porcini. They are also called cepes or boletes, in case it says that anywhere on the package. Either way, if the mushrooms are richly aromatic, they will probably do fine.

              2. re: dream_of_giusti

                From "More Classic Italian Cooking"

                1 oz dried porcini mushrooms
                6 T vegetable oil
                2 lb pork chops, cut 1/2" thick
                1/2 c dry white wine
                1/2 c canned italian tomatoes, drained and chopped
                1/2 c heavy cream
                salt
                fresh ground pepper
                1/2 fresh white mushrooms

                1--Soak mushrooms 1/2 hour in advance in 2 c warm water. When they are soft, lift them out of the water and chop, and filter the water. Set both water and mushrooms aside.
                2--Brown the chops on both sides in 3 T of the oil.
                3--Add the wine, let it bubble briefly.
                4--Add the tomatoes, cream, a large pinch of salt, a few grinds pepper, and the reserved wild mushrooms. Simmer, covered, 45 min to 1 hr til very tender. Turn chops from time to time.
                5--While the chops are cooking, boil down the reserved mushroom soaking water to 1/3 cup.
                6--Thinly slice fresh mushrooms lengthwise.
                7--Sautee fresh mushrooms over high heat, adding salt and pepper. When the water they throw off has boiled away, add the reserved soaking water. Continue to stir and cook til all water is evaporated.
                8--When the chops are tender, add all the mushrooms. Turn the chops and stir the sauce. Cook covered 5-8 minutes more for flavors to meld.

                And it is delish. Serve with risotto or polenta to soak up the yummy sauce.

                1. re: Louise

                  Thanks Louise. I'm going to try this when DH gets back in town. Are the pork chops boneless or bone in?

                  1. re: nissenpa

                    Bone in, I think. The recipe says "preferably center loin" which by my understanding is the porky equivalent of a t-bone.

              3. re: Louise

                I also love Marcella's pork chops braised in tomato sauce and sage.

              4. I cook them under the broiler. (We lack a grill.) I like to sprinkle the chops with smoked Spanish paprika before cooking.

                1 Reply
                1. re: val ann c

                  I second the broiler approach, almost like grilling them. I have never tried brining before broiling, but seems like a good idea.

                2. the difference between natural and un-natural prok chops is startling. the un-natural always have a peculiar mushy texture. I season loin boneless chops and throw them on the George Forman grill.....fairly simple, juicy and delish.

                  1. Funny you shoudl ask: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/420298

                    These were about an inch thick, bone-in loin chops. I grilled them over indirect heat on my gas grill. One burner was on about medium, the one under the meat was as low as it goes, so the grill kept at a temperature of about 350.

                    I sprinkled with a bit of salt, pepper and thyme and grilled about 25-30 minutes until the meat was at 160.

                    I do really enjoy some of the recipes from "All Abotu Braising" by Molly Stevens, especially the Pork Chops with Creamy Cabbage, but this time of year I'd rather grill.

                    1. Krissywats turned me onto this recipe for Ginger Ale Pork Chops which is SO much better than it sounds

                      http://tinyurl.com/2tkhtp

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Chris VR

                        I was going to post this in a separate post about my favorite pork chop recipe - but thanks Chris.

                        To be clear this recipe is such an interesting mix of savory and sweet. I've made this twice in the last two weeks - I think think it pairs better with smaller loin chops, however - every time I've made them with the smaller, thinner chops they come out very tender.

                        The flavor of this sauce (I'd double the sauce) is very rich - ginger cream sauce with a bit of heat, a bit of sweet and the cream really mellows the whole thing out without losing flavor. I like flavor explosion and this really has it.

                      2. Here's how my mom always made them:

                        Dredge the chops in flour seasoned with garlic salt and pepper (I generally use Lawry's Seasoned Salt instead of garlic salt). Get your skillet really hot and put enough oil in it to coat the bottom generously. Put the chops in the hot skillet and cook that one side quickly, just to sear it so the juices are sealed in. Then turn them over and turn the fire down to medium or maybe medium-low. Cover the pan and let them cook till they're done all the way through. Remove to a paper-towel-lined plate and make gravy with the drippings.

                        Another thing I do from time to time, especially with those really thick chops (around here they're called Iowa Pork Chops): marinate them with garlic and soy sauce, and broil them.

                        Another one of my mom's recipes involves browning pork chops and then baking them with stuffing on top. Takes an hour to an hour and a half. The pork flavors the stuffing wonderfully.

                        And then one of the fellows in my mom's church does Lemon Pork Chops, in which you top the chops with thick lemon slices and apple jelly and bake them (covered).

                        1. This is ironic - I grilled pork chops last night and my husband said they were the best he'd ever had "from our house..." so with that disclaimer I'll tell you I merely had 1-inch bone-in loin chops - a sprinkle of Montreal Steak Seasoning - grilled 7 minutes on each side and then finished them off with a mixture of apricot jam and dijon mustard. Did I mention juicy? I've not been the most consistent when it comes to pork chops so I must say that I even impressed myself!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Spoonula

                            That's my husband's favorite version of pork chops except we use honey mustard.
                            I like them brined then dredged in seasoned flour and pan-fried. Make a medium to thin milk gravy with the pan drippings. Then I add the pork chops back to the gravy and simmer for about 20 minutes to thicken the gravy. Pork chops are always tender and full of flavor.
                            BTW, thick, bone-in rib chops are the way to go. So much more flavor and hard to turn into hockey pucks.

                          2. We had thick bone in loin pork chops Tuesday night:
                            Rubbed with home made Creole seasoning, grilled indoors on a stovetop grill pan.
                            Veddy, Veddy gooood!

                            1. Pan-roast them. It sounds fancy but it's not:

                              Get the thick loin chops. Bone or no bone with this method they'll stay juicy. THis recipe is for the ones that are about 1.5 inches thick. Adjust cooking times down for thinner ones.

                              Preheat the oven to 400. Start to bring chops to room temperature while chopping a little shallot and some thyme or tarragon or both. Salt and pepper the chops. Get a heavy skillet and put a little olive oil in it (1-2 tbs.). Heat the oil until it starts looking thin and mobile. Put the pork chop in the pan. Cook at a good sizzle for ~4 minutes on each side. Do not move it while it's searing. It should have a nice brown crust on each side, but still look undone on the inside. You should see a nice wide pink line down the middle of the chop visible on the outside. Take the chop from the skillet and put it in a pie plate or similar small oven proof dish and put it in the oven. Set the timer for 7 minutes. In the hot oil in the skillet, saute the shallot at a lower temp. than you cooked the pork chops until it begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Add about 1/3 cup of wine. Scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the herbs and some dijon mustard. Stir and reduce for a few minutes to get all the lumps out.

                              You can also do this in one pan by cooking the pork chop in the skillet in the oven (if it's an oven-proof one) and covering it with foil on a plate to rest while you do the sauce.

                              Takes about 15 minutes tops and is delicious.

                              1. Everyone upthread is just kidding.

                                Just throw them into a hot pan with some salt and pepper. Pork chops speak for themselves--especially for the pc virgin. Cut that fat rim to the meat every half inch or so to keep the chop from curling in on itself.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                  Sam, you probably have real pork down where you live. Up here, the stuff we buy in the supermarket is "the other white meat" -- a genetically engineered mutant pork with very little fat. Hence, dry and tasteless. Brining is a must, unless you buy pricey heritage breed pork on-line. My husband and I are off to Ireland in a few days, and I hope to find a juicy pork chop amidst all the salmon and lamb.

                                  1. re: pikawicca

                                    pikawicca, yes the pork here is like in the old days in the US (although US pork is not genetically engineered, just conventionally bred for less fat--but I get the point). Have a great time in Ireland and may you find juicy chops!

                                2. The first thing I learned to cook on my own was this herbed pork chop dish:
                                  1 tsp. rosemary
                                  1/2 tsp. sage
                                  1/2 clove of garlic, chopped
                                  salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
                                  4 large pork chops, one-inch thick
                                  1 cup water
                                  1/2 cup dry white wine
                                  Mix the rosemary, sage, garlic, salt and pepper. Rub the pork chops with the herb mixture.
                                  Place the pork chops in a large greased skillet with the water and cover. Simmer until all the water evaporates for about 45 minutes. (simmer on medium low with small bubbles gently breaking the surface, — not a hard, fast boil) -
                                  Remove cover and brown the chops at medium heat in their own fat. Add the 1/2 cup of wine and cook for one minute, turning chops once. The wine evaporates (reduces) to a thickened sauce.

                                  1. These are wonderful recipes and make me hungry for pork chops! I fix them many ways with great results. But I have a question for the pros: When I prepare a recipe that calls for me to saute the pork chops first, I make sure they are at room temperature and that I have patted them dry with paper towels. I will give a light dredge in seasoned flour and then place them in the hot oil/butter. Invariably, I have to deal with that juicy liquid that solidifies to a white, unappetizing gook (not a technical term). What am I doing wrong?

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Signora

                                      It sounds like your pan is not hot enough. To pan sear, you would want to hear the pan sizzle when you place the meat in it. And there will be smoke, so alot of people tend to turn the heat down. Just think of an outdoor grill, it smokes and no one minds because it outdoors, but if you have to do it indoors, then expect the sizzle and the smoke. I have a fan over the stove, but it still doesn't get all the smoke. To me, it's worth it, but you have to decide.

                                      Also, I found this interesting, that Alton Brown says your broiler is just and upside down grill ;). Gotta love the guy!

                                    2. One way we love them (don't think I saw it here) is to cook them with garlic, sliced white onion and balsamic vinegar. If you can marinate them in the balsamic vinegar onion, garlic and pepper for at least 4hrs. Then pour a little olive oil into a saute pan, brown them quickly (don't cook them) and then when they're brown deglaze with a little chicken broth or water, and then add the onions and pork chops. Great flavor. Sort of a take off from Adobo...but no bayleaf.
                                      Serve with jasmine rice or favorite. YUMMY.