Learning to pan-sear meat cuts like pork chops speeds up and simplifies dinnertime.
I don’t know about you, but around here weeknights have been kinda crazy. Some nights find us all eating dinner at 8 p.m. or even later!
Whatever I make has gotta be quick, but you can only punt so many nights in a row.
That’s why I’ve been doing a lot of pan-searing, or what cooks around here call frying. A good old-fashioned technique, it takes only 10 minutes.
Here’s how easy and quick it is to make a succulent main course like these pan-seared pork chops with whiskey cherry mustard sauce.
Pat the pork chop dry with paper towels on both sides.
Season the pork chop with kosher salt blended with this curry powder.
Lay the pork chop in a hot, lightly oiled pan and don’t move it for at least three to four minutes for best browning before flipping to sear the second side.
While the pork chop rests, use those pan drippings for a simple pan sauce like this lip-smacking liquor, preserves and mustard sauce.
Slice the pork chop, cutting the meat away from the bone first if necessary, and serve with the sauce (or plain for you know who).
On a crazy night, I’ll serve this with cheater baked potatoes (that’s what microwaves were made for, right?) and a salad. On mellower nights, roasted Brussels sprouts or green beans and oven polenta make my day.
Have a great and well-fed week!
Pan-seared Pork Chops with Whiskey Cherry Mustard Sauce
A cast iron skillet is ideal for searing meats because it produces an even browning. But you can use any wide, heavy-bottomed pan. This sweet and sour pan sauce comes together quickly in the same pan while the pork chops rest. To serve up to four people, slice the pork chops before plating.
- 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder optional
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 1 to to 1 1/2-inch thick bone-in or boneless pork chops pasture raised
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
For the pan sauce:
- 3 tablespoons cherry preserves or another flavor, such as apricot or raspberry
- 2 tablespoons whiskey
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Blend together the curry powder and kosher salt in a small bowl. Pat the pork chops dry on a cutting board lined with paper towels. Season the pork chops all over, including the fat, with the salt and spice blend.
Heat a preheated 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and continue to heat until the oil slides across the pan easily.
Arrange the pork chops in the pan and let them cook without moving for 3 1/2– 4 minutes. Using tongs, lift each pork chop to brown the fat along the sides, then flip to cook the second side for about 3-4 minutes more or until a meat thermometer registers 145 degrees F (155 degrees F for more well done). Remove the pork chops to a plate to rest.
Turn off the heat. Pour any excess fat from the pan and return it to the burner. The residual heat in the pan will cook the pan sauce.
Mix the preserves, whiskey and mustard in a small bowl and pour into the pan. Use a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula and stir to cook off the alcohol and to blend. Add the butter and stir just until the butter melts.
Pour any juices from the resting pork chops into the pan and then place them on a cutting board. Stir well and taste for seasoning. Slice the pork chops and serve with the pan sauce.
If you're avoiding alcohol, replace the whiskey in the recipe with apple juice or water.