With kids back in school and adults returning to the office, there’s hardly any time in the day to worry about what to make for dinner. An easy and simple dish that will feed the whole family in less than an hour is exactly what you need. And that's where pan-seared, oven-cooked pork chops come into play. With this recipe, you can have juicy, tender pork chops on your dinner table in 20 minutes.
This recipe uses two basic cooking methods that all home cooks should know or try to learn: searing and oven-roasting. Searing the pork chops gives them that tasty brown, caramelized exterior with a perfectly-cooked, moist interior.
First, you need to pat dry any moisture on the chops and season with a simple combination of salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder. Let the pork marinate for a few hours so the seasonings can really meld with the meat. Now it’s time to fire up these bad boys. Place your chops in a cast-iron skillet with oil and cook on one side for about 4 minutes. Then flip the chops, place themin the oven and cook until the center is slightly firm. There you go! Your entree is ready in a matter of minutes.
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This recipe calls for you to use bone-in pork chops, but boneless chops can work as well. Boneless pork chops tend to be leaner compared to bone-in chops, but bone-in chops will have more flavor from the fat. This cut of pork is not only great for searing, but also broiling, roasting and grilling.
Complete the meal by serving these pork chops with steamed vegetables and mashed potatoes or your favorite no-cook side dish. If you want more flavor, you can also smother the pork chops in a creamy mushroom sauce or cover them in a tart cherry balsamic gastrique, as mentioned in the recipe. Now that you have this recipe under your belt, apply these techniques for more brilliant dinner ideas for busy weeknights.
Recipe by JeanMarie Brownson
2-4 bone-in, center-cut pork loin chops, each 1-inch thick and weighing 8 ounces
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon expeller pressed canola oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil or peanut oil
Cherry-balsamic gastrique or Creamy baby bella sauce, optional
Sliced green onions, for garnish
Step 1: Pat chops dry and place on a plate. In a small dish mix together 1½ teaspoon each kosher salt and sweet paprika along with ½ teaspoon each black pepper and granulated garlic. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over all sides of the pork chops. Cover chops loosely. If desired, refrigerate for several hours (up to 8 hours).
Step 2: Heat oven to 400F convection or 425F conventional. While the oven heats, let chops come to room temperature if necessary.
Step 3: Heat a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet, griddle or ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium heat until a drop of water sizzles on contact. Swirl oil in a pan. Use tongs to add chops (in a single, uncrowded layer). Let cook, without turning, until deeply golden on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Flip chops and immediately slide the pan into the hot oven.
Step 4: Cook, without turning, until the center of the chop is slightly firm (but not hard) when pressed or 145F on an instant-read thermometer, 5 to 6 minutes.
Step 5: Remove from the oven to a plate; tent with foil to keep warm while you reheat the sauce.
Step 6: Serve chops topped with a spoonful of your chosen sauce. Garnish with sliced green onions.
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