A view from my side.
I’m just a basic American male when it comes to diet. I usually keep things pretty simple and anyone that has read my food posts understands that. But there are only so many ways to cook the basic steak, pork chop and chicken breast. Living in the South lets me enjoy using the outdoor grill year round, still I sometimes wonder what else can I do with this piece of animal flesh I want to prepare for supper. As such, I frequently browse the food pages of various sites looking for something different.
It was on such a day a few weeks ago that I found a recipe that promised “Tender, Juicy Pork Chops in the Oven”. Ok…I’ve baked / roasted pork chops before but this could be interesting. And, the challenge with pork is getting it cooked sufficiently to ward off Trichinella Spiralis (a topic for another day) without being left with a dry hockey puck of a chop when you’re done. While easily accomplished, it doesn’t take much to over cook pork.
The answer to this age-old issue in this recipe: Brining. Duh! I know people brine all sorts of things and I know that brining has become popular again. I just never got around to doing it. Until now. So simple, so easy and so delicious. And, as the recipe title promised, these were truly “Tender, Juicy Pork Chops in the Oven”. So…here we go:
This was so easy and so quick. But when done, they were so flavorful and so juicy and so good. Whew! Give this one a go! The full recipe can be found below, along with the link to the site where I found it.
Brine the chops. I used minced garlic as opposed to smashing 2 cloves. I felt it would bring out more flavor overall. I also did not have peppercorns, so just used regular black pepper. And, my bay leaves were pretty old, so I did not use those either. So much for following the recipe!
While the chops were brining, I heated the oven to 400°F and put my skillet in to heat up. Taking the chops out of the brine after about 45 minutes, I patted them dry and brushed a little bit of olive oil onto each one. When ready, I pulled the skillet out of the oven (using an oven mitt of course) and placed it on the stove top on medium high heat. I arranged the chops in the skillet and seared one side, about 3-4 minutes.
Turning them over, I immediately placed them into the oven. I let them cook for about 8 minutes. Turning them over, I was a bit disappointed that the “flip side” had not seared as well as the first side. As you can see in the photo below, the flip side did not have the same look. While I love the taste and texture that a good sear provides, it had little effect on the overall flavor. Visually, though, I made sure to plate these seared side up.
We only had green beans for a side dish as the kids told me nothing else, no potatoes or rice that night or salad or fruit. Ok, I can do that.
As I said, this was so easy and so simple. This is a recipe that lived up to its name. I have posted several recipes over the years that were new to me but none as simple as this. As I’ve come to learn over the years…Not all new tricks are tricky.
I used 4 boneless center cut pork chops. This recipe below pretty much a copy/paste from the site where I found it, which is here: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-cook-perfect-pork-chops-in-the-oven-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-194257
For the brine (optional):
3 cups cold water, divided
3 tablespoons coarse kosher salt (or 2 1/2 tablespoons table salt)
Optional flavorings: 2 smashed garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, 1 bay leaf
For the pork chops:
2 to 4 pork chops
Shallow dish (for brining)
Large cast iron, stainless steel, or other oven-safe skillet