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Dec 2, 2009 06:16 AM

ISO really tender braised pork chops

I'll be cooking them tonight for my daughter and I. They are just supermarket chops that my hubby bought and left for me to cook. I don't think I have enough time to brine (she'll eat around 7 and it's already 3pm). I think braising them in milk would be nice - I have rosemary, bay, thyme and sage in the garden, and fresh parsley in the fridge. I have lots of potatoes and onions. I was thinking of doing them in apple and cider but wanted a more savoury dish.

Really, I'm looking for the best method of getting really tender chops. I have a feeling that if I let them cook slowly this afternoon they should be nice and tender later on - yes or no?

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  1. In my vast experience with pork chops, when I brown them thoroughly and then braise them for 30 minutes, their perfectly fine. But when I reheat the leftovers in a slow oven for 2 or 2-1/2 hours they become delectable!

    1. I don't think there is enough fat in most pork chops to make them tender after a long braise. This thread might help with types of pork chops and braising.

      Even without a brine, I'll heat up a cast iron skillet, sear the pork chops a minute or so on both sides and finish off in oven for a few more minutes but make sure to pull them when they look slighly underdone. You can also leave them longer on the stove and not do the oven part which is what my husband does.

      5 Replies
      1. re: chowser

        Braise any meat long enough and it will get tender. It may not have the best mouth feel if there's not a lot of fat or connective tissue to break down, but it will get tender.

        1. re: BobB

          I haven't found that. I've found low fat meats get tough when cooked long.

          1. re: chowser

            They do toughen for a while, sometimes quite a while, but if you keep cooking long & slow in liquid they will eventually sort of "give up" and practically fall apart. As I say, the result may not be too appetizing but it will be tender.

            I found this out early on, when I used super lean beef for stews. Later I wised up and started using chuck.

            1. re: BobB

              I love chuck. It's high in fat and connective tissues and is wonderful braised (and inexpensive). I think starting with tough meats is fine but I've never had a braised chicken breast that was tender. Dark meat, chuck roast, short ribs, shanks all make great braises but they're not for low fat eating.:-)

              1. re: BobB

                Yes, I was using top round for beef stew for a short while but it doesn't hold a candle to chuck stew meat. Same problem, tough forever than turns into shreds.

        2. well I've just come back to london from Georgia, so I'm doing a southern style smothered pork chop recipe. Have found one which says to braise for 45 min so I'm trying that, and I've seasoned flour with a blend similar to Emeril's Essence (what a ridiculous name for a spice mix)... simple onion gravy with a splash of white wine. Really hope it's tasty.

          3 Replies
          1. re: kookiegoddess

            well the gravy was tasty and the chop wasn't too bad, it was starting to fall apart but the muscle fibres were still a little chewy. I will buy some good chops and try again next week, maybe with brining. Trying to keep things low in salt for my baby girl but it's really tough! I LOVE salt.

            1. re: kookiegoddess

              Unless you're planning on buying bone-in chops with awesome marbling from a heritage breed pig, I think you'd be better off with plain old pork shoulder. Plenty of fat and connective tissue to keep the meat moist and succulent as it braises.

              1. re: jeremyn

                I second the pork shoulder rec. Have your butcher cut the shoulder into individual steaks for you (sometimes called pork blade steaks). Sear them briefly on both sides and braise until tender. You could add a brining step to the steaks to add some extra seasoning as well.

          2. I just purchased a piece of pork at the asian store, they are for pork chops but I didn't have him chop them, just left it as a whole roast approx. 3 lbs. This piece also has the tenderloin attached to it. Know I'm wondering how I should cook this and if anyone has any great recipes, they would be most welcome. I have fresh rosemary, thyme, basil and sage. please help.....I also have a post for this request