Pan seared pork chop is a total classic; it has the flavorful seared skin and the perfect medium rare inside. If you are looking for a great date night meal, pan seared pork chop is an excellent choice!
A little about pan seared pork chops
Believe it or not, it is actually one of the most often ruined meals that people make, and most don’t even realize it!! It is so easy to overcook because of the super high temperature which can make it very chewy and bland. Unfortunately, for most people this is the norm, so they might not know better.
Good news though, there are a few strategies that can make this right!
Cook to Temperature: Cooking to temperature is what we do, not a timer. This is best done with an instant read thermometer like this one. It allows you total control over your cook.
Cast Iron Pan or Heavy SS: The right kind of pan is a big deal! In order to get proper sear and cook, the pan has to be HOT and a cast iron pan can get really hot! We prefer cast iron because of the heat capabilities, but the gist; if you are using a cheap Teflon pan it runs a huge risk of over heating the Teflon and introducing chemicals. Also, if using a thin metal pan, the heat can dissipate too quickly and not give you the right sear.
Proper sized chops: If your chops are too thin (~1/2″), by the time the sear is right the inside is over-cooked. If your chops are too thick (>1″), by the time the inside is right, the outside is char. You want a pork chop 1″ thick.
Alright, lets get it all ready. Preparation is the key; having everything ready to go and handy will reduce the delay between steps, and that could mean the difference between just right and overcooked.
Prepare in advance:
Pork: 30 minutes prior to the cook, get the chops out on a plate and liberally salt and pepper the pork. Leave on the counter. We want it to be a little warmer than the refrigerator.
Sauce Ingredients: Mix 1 tbsp of melted butter and mustard in a small dish.
Measure out the half n’ half and cider into separate cups.
There are two ways to do this: On the grill in the pan or on the stove top. My preference is in the grill because the splatter can get messy. If you are doing this on the stove, don your favorite apron (if you are a man, it better be a funny/awesome apron and not grandmas) to save your clothes.
With the pork nearing room temperature, add oil (canola or peanut oil, NOT olive oil. Why?) to coat the pan and begin heating over medium high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the pork chops and sear one side for 3 minutes.
Using long tongs, hold the fatty side to the skillet for 30 seconds to firm it up. When the fat side of the pork is nice and firm, flip the pork over and cover (or close the grill) for 5 minutes.
Once 5 minutes are complete, begin measuring the internal temperature every 60 seconds with a reliable thermometer. When the internal temperature reaches 135 degrees F (approximately 3-4 minutes), take off the heat and let rest on a cutting board for about 5-8 minutes (If you feel a medium rare is not your style, add another 5 degrees before removing from the pan for a medium cook).
Now, I would completely understand if you stopped here and served the pork chops. There is nothing wrong with that; the pork chops on their own are absolutely fantastic. However, if you want a decent sauce to go with it, carry on…
To deglaze the pan, turn the grill/stove off and let sit for 5 min to cool. Pour the cider into the hot pan and stir around. Scrape as much of the fond from the pan (amazing flavor) as you can before the remaining ingredients are added. Pour in the remaining ingredients, and simmer for 1 minute under no heat.
You have options here… serve the sauce on the side, slice the pork at an angle and drench in the pan sauce, or just slice the pork and serve! No matter what, it’s delicious. Serve with some chardonnay and steamed broccoli. It’ll be a hit.
Pan Seared Pork Chop
- Pork Chops (at least 1" thick)
- 1½ tbsp Ground Mustard
- 1 tbsp Butter (Melted)
- ⅓ cup Half n Half
- ⅓ cup Apple Cider Beer
- Table Salt + Pepper
- 30 minutes prior to cook, liberally add salt and pepper to both sides. Leave the pork in room temperature.
- Mix melted butter and mustard in a small dish. Measure out half n' half and cider in separate containers.
- In a skillet over medium high heat, add oil to coat the pan. When shimmering, add pork chops and sear for 3 minutes.
- If it has a fatty side, hold pork with tongs for 30 seconds to harden the side.
- Flip and cover for 5 minutes.
- Every 60 seconds, measure the temperature. Remove when 135 degrees. Rest for 5 minutes.
- Pour beer into the pan and deglaze.
- Pour in butter, mustard, and cream. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 1 minutes.
- Serve pork sliced with sauce on the side, over top, or drenched.