I find that pork chops are one cut of meat that I’m not terribly creative with. I typically just cook them on the stovetop, make a quick pan sauce, and serve. So, whenever I find an easy but different pork chop recipe, I’m always interested in trying it. This recipe brines the pork chops, which keeps them nice and tender (though you obviously still need to make sure you don’t overcook them) and finishes them with a sweet glaze of melted brown sugar.
The only bad thing about this recipe is that while it cooks incredibly quickly, it needs to brine for 1-3 hours. That means it’s not as time consuming as my weekend meals usually are (since weekends are the only days I can make meals that take more than 25 minutes), but not quick enough to be made during the week. Still, it works great for a busy weekend or when you really just don’t want to spend much time in the kitchen.
Despite being quite largely pregnant like I was when I first made it, we had this baked brown rice and vegetable pilaf with the pork. Thankfully, it didn’t cause as much drama this time around and was a great complement to the chops.
Next time, I’ll go ahead and fry up some sage leaves before cooking the pork, to add a little more sage flavor (and to, you know, eat them), like with this saltimbocca. My glaze didn’t turn out nearly as pretty as the picture on the original recipe for some reason, but we definitely could taste it, and that’s all that mattered. This dinner is meant for 2, but 1 lb. of meat is quite a bit in my opinion, so Zachary could easily partake in this meal, too. And he really loved the pork and kept asking for more. Maybe it *could* be a meal for 2 if it’s just him and someone else eating…
Sage-Brined Pork Chops with Brown Sugar Glaze
From The Kitchn
2 cups water
2 Tbsp. kosher salt
2 Tbsp. minced fresh sage
2 center-cut, boneless pork chops, 1″ thick (about 1 pound)
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
Vegetable or canola oil
Heat 1 cup of the water to a simmer. Add the salt and sage, and stir until the salt has dissolved. Mix in a second cup of cold water to cool the brine down; let stand until mixture is lukewarm.
Place the pork chops in a shallow dish and pour the brine solution over top, making sure the brine covers the pork completely (otherwise you will need to flip the pork halfway through brining). Cover and refrigerate for 1-3 hours.
When ready to cook, place a heavy-bottomed, oven-safe skillet in the oven on a center rack (I prefer cast iron). Heat the oven to 400°F. Remove the pork chops from the brine solution and pat dry (discard the brine). Leave them at room temperature while the oven is heating.
Carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven and place it over medium-high heat on the stovetop. Rub the pork chops with oil and sprinkle them with ground pepper; place them in the pan. Sear for about 3 minutes or until the underside of the pork chop is golden.
Flip the pork chops and spread a tablespoon of brown sugar over the surface of each chop. Immediately place the pan in the oven. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, until the center of the chops are just barely pink and the internal temperature is 140. If the brown sugar hasn’t quite completely melted, run the pan under the broiler for a few seconds.
Plate the pork chops and spoon some of the pan juices over the pork chops just before serving.