Whatever happened to pork chops?
Do people still eat pork chops? Are they celebrated with great joy and gobbled down with sheer food lust like Homer Simpson? Granted it has been over 13 years since I have lived in my home country so I am not sure if they are still quite as popular as they were in the pork chop heyday of my youth. All I know is that when I see them here in the pork section of my local grocer in Asia, I snatch them up.
A torrid pork chop fling
Treat pork like you would treat an epic romance. You can either go hot and heavy real fast by cooking it over high heat for a quick minute or go for the love saga by cooking it on a low heat for hours to get that tender, juicy melt in your mouth type of love. Needless to say for me, I move fast when it comes to pork chops.
Just sprinkle some sea salt and black pepper over the chops then dredge in a light coating of flour and fry up in a pan. It’s how I remember my mom cooking them up when I was a kid and remains, in my humble opinion, the best way to cook them. Barring the outside layer of fat, pork chops are relatively lean and can cook up fairly quickly, depending on the thickness.
A little sweetness to the salty
The traditional pairing of apple sauce with pork chops never quite did it for me. I like something a little more layered in flavor. So after several attempts of different sauces, I settled on this pineapple thyme reduction as the best accompaniment. The tartness of the pineapple juice, the sweetness of honey, fragrant thyme and garlic all combine together for the most sumptuous gravy to be poured over a crispy pork chop. As it is not too sweet, it perfectly highlights the salty unctuousness of the outer ring of pork chop fat while giving more flavor to the leaner meat inside. This sauce is a definite must!
Crispy fried pork chops coated in a salty and sweet pineapple thyme reduction sauce. A quick entree for a meal meant to impress. #pork #porkchops #easy #quick #weeknightdinners #recipe #pineapple
3–4 thick-cut pork chops
freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sunflower oil or whatever oil you like best for frying
4–6 sprigs of thyme
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
1 cup of chicken broth
1/2 cup pineapple juice ( I try to stick with the 100% real juice, but whatever you like best will do)
2 tsp of honey
2–3 tbsp of ice-cold unsalted butter
Lightly season pork chops with sea salt and black pepper on both sides.
Place flour on a plate or bowl. Dredge pork chops in flour on both sides.
Warm oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot (oil is ready for frying when it bubbles when tested with a wooden chopstick or wooden utensil), add pork chops. Fry on medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes of each side depending on how thick each chop is. Pork chop should be slightly golden and give bounce back when pressed. The best way to make sure you cook the pork perfectly is to use a meat thermometer. If you are ever unsure if the meat is properly cooked, stick the thermometer into the thickest part of the chop and take its temp. For pork, it’s done when it has reached 62C/ 145 F.
When pork chops are nice and crispy, remove from the pan and left drain on paper towels to soak up excess oil. Let rest for about 5 minutes before cutting into them.
While pork chops are resting, start on the sauce. In a medium to a small saucepan, combine together smashed garlic cloves, thyme sprigs, chicken broth, honey and pineapple juice. Stir to evenly combine and bring to a boil on high heat.
Let bubble away until reduced to 1/3 of its size. It should be thick and syrupy at this point.
Turn off heat and whisk in 2-3 tbsp of ice-cold butter until butter is melted and the sauce has thickened. The sauce will further thicken as it stands.
Season with salt and pepper to taste then pour over pork chops and serve.
- Category: Main, Pork
- Method: Pan Frying, simmering
- Cuisine: Western
Keywords: pork, pork chops, fried pork, pineapple, thyme, garlic, honey, reduction, sauce, recipe