This is another easy recipe that could impress your date night or your family with a little preparation ahead of time. As you all know I’m obsessed with my cast iron and I’m obsessed with roasting everything so this recipe just made my heart sing! I’ve tested this recipe with and without brining it and brining is the way to go for a juicy pork chop. If you are pressed for time, go ahead and skip the brining process. If you decide to skip the bringing process, than be sure to season both sides of the pork chop with salt and pepper.
Here’s what you’ll need:
3-4 bone-in pork chops cut at least 3/4-1 inch thick or more (usually one per person with an extra to spare for the hungry man in your life)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup kosher salt
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
2 springs of thyme, one for brine and one for basting
1 head of garlic plus 3-4 large cloves
2 cups of water
5 cups of ice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
You’re going to want to brine this the night before or at least 8 hours ahead of time. You can prep this in the morning before you go to work or the night before. Do not brine more than 12 hours. If you brine it the night before, remove the pork chops from the brine in the morning and refrigerate.
In a medium stock pot bring 2 cups of water to a boil over medium high heat. Stir in sugar, salt, peppercorns, garlic head sliced in half, and one sprig of thyme. Stir until sugar and salt are dissolved. Remove from heat and pour into a large bowl. Add ice cubes to bowl and stir until brine is chilled. Now it’s time for the chops to join the pool party. You can cover this bowl and set in fridge for to brine. I poured the brine into a large enough ziplock bag so that the brine covers the chops completely because my bowl wasn’t big enough to do so. If you do this, be sure to place the bag in a bowl or container so it doesn’t leak in your fridge.
Preheat oven 450 degrees.
Remove brine and chops from refrigerator and bring chops to room temperature for at least 30 minutes while the oven preheats.
Remove porks from brine and pat dry.
In a cast iron or oven safe skillet, heat two tablespoons of olive oil on medium high heat. Place in skillet and brown each side for 3-4 minutes each side so you get a beautifully caramelized coloring to the chops.
Place skillet in oven and roast for 10-12minutes (depending on the thickness of your chop) turning half way through so the chops color evenly.
Remove skillet from oven and place back on stovetop on medium high heat. Add butter, the remaining garlic cloves, and sprig of thyme to skillet. Tilt the skillet at an angle (using an oven mitt to hold the handle so you don’t burn yourself) use a spoon to baste the chops with the butter in the pan. Keep basting for two minutes then flip chops. Continue basting for another two minutes.
I obviously don’t have three hands so I had a special guest photog, my hungry man, Scott help me out on the basting shots. I promised I would give him photog credit or I would have just let you think I’m Octopus Woman!
Remove chops from skillet and place onto a platter. Cover with aluminum foil. Let chops rest for 15 minutes so the juices can redistribute inside and make for a juicy chop. If you cut into them immediately after removing from the oven, you are letting the juices run out and this causes them to dry out. Your patience will be rewarded!
Serve with some oven roasted vegetables and enjoy!