Pan-Charred Pork Chops With Chipotle Butter
Keep It Simple, Sweetie is the best way to cook a very nice piece of extra thick pork chops. In this pan-charred pork chop with a chipotle compound butter the mild flavor of the pork is boosted with a char flavor, then complemented with flavors from chipotle pepper compound butter. I char the pork chops on a Calphalon grill pan and then complete the cooking in the oven.
For this dish I bought a fresh cut 1-1/4" thick pork center pork chop with the rib bone in:
About Pork Center Cut Pork (from thekitchn):
- Other names: Center-cut rib chop, pork chop end cut, pork rib cut chop, rib end cut, rib pork chop
- Where it's from: The rib section of the loin, from the shoulder to the middle of the loin (the rib bones attached to these chops are actually baby back ribs).
- What it looks like: Large eye of lean loin meat and no tenderloin meat. There is a bone running along one side and sometimes a layer of fat on the outside. Rib chops from the blade end have more fat and connective tissue than chops from the shoulder end.
- What it tastes like: The chops are very tender, have a little more fat than loin chops, and have a mild flavor.
- How to cook it: Since the meat on these chops is lean, quick cooking like grilling, broiling, or sear-roasting are the best methods. Brining first will help keep these chops moist and tender.
There are four types of cuts for rib chops. For additional information, check out "A Complete Guide To Pork Chops Meat Basics".
Using an outdoor grill to get that char flavor is not always an option. That's when I pull out my trusty Calphalon grill pan, such as this one. (This is an affiliate link to Amazon. Clicking on it will not cost you anything. If you decide to buy the Calphalon grill pan, I get a small commission but at no extra cost to you.)
The Recipe (serves 2)
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
Tool needed: grill pan
- 2 Fresh cut pork center cut pork chops with the rib bone in
- Salt, preferably sea salt or Kosher salt
- Fresh crushed black pepper
- Light (pure) olive oil
- Chipotle pepper compound butter
- Sliced spring onions (optional garnish)
Wash the pork chops and pat them dry. Allow the pork chops to reach room temperature, about 20 minutes.
Generously sprinkle salt on one side of the pork chops. (This step is very important! The salt helps to bring out the flavor of the pork, as well as aide in tenderizing and keeping it moist.) Sprinkle on the crushed pepper. Lightly cover with olive oil. Gently press the ingredients into the pork chops.
Turn the pork chops over and repeat the above steps.
Set your grill pan on your gas or electric burner and set the temperature to high. Get the pan very hot. I always look for a little smoke to emit from the pan.
Place each pork chop in the grill pan. Do not move the pork chops after you first place them in the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes on the first side. Three minutes if you want a light char. Turn the chops over and sear for 3 minutes. Transfer the pan to the oven for 8 minutes, only 8 minutes!!
Take the pork chops out of the oven and transfer to a warm platter or plate. Allow to rest for at least 5-6 minutes. Note that the pork chops will continue to cook during this resting period. If you want to check for doneness , gently make a small cut along the bone and "peak." It's important not to cut into the meat which will allow any juices to escape and render a dry pork chop.
Note: If you purchase a 1" thick pork chop, sear to get a char as noted above. But reduce the cooking time in the oven by about 1 minutes. Better to have an under-cook pork chop that can be returned to the oven than an over-cooked pork chop that is dry!
To Serve: Top the pork chops with chipotle pepper compound butter. Garnish with sliced spring onions.
See just how easy pan-charred pork chops is to make:
This is a 3-minute (light) char:
This is a 4-minute (dark) char pork chop:
The pan-charred pork chop flavor is wonderfully enhanced with the chipotle pepper compound butter. It's easy to make with just a few fresh ingreidents, such as Italian flat-leaf parsley, garlic and the crushed smokey hot chipotle pepper. I like to make it a day or two ahead. Click on the link to get the complete recipe.
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