Sometimes, it’s just nice to go back to something basic. In this case, I’m talking about food. After pouring over endless recipes for pork (that’s what I had for meat for dinner), I finally decided to stop wasting my time finding something everyone could eat (my husband is on dialysis, so he has a special diet) and to just make plain pork chops. However, the last time I made “just pork chops” on the stove top, I ended up with something more akin to shoe leather, but not as soft. So, with trepidation, I decided to try it one more time. And holy moly. They were fabulous (if I do say so myself)!
I found instructions on how NOT to destroy your pork chops while doing important research (OK, OK … wasting time) on Pinterest. It was deceptively simple. It couldn’t possibly be …That. Stinking. Simple. But there it was, in black and white. Maybe my mom (who is a fabulous cook and taught me most of my cooking skills) has shown me this one before and I just didn’t get it scribed into my memory. And maybe I’m the only country girl cook who doesn’t know how to cook a simple pork chop right. But seriously, it only had four ingredients. Pork chops, olive oil, salt and pepper. That’s it. No, really. That is all!
In a large skillet (CAST IRON, of course!), pour in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat it over medium-high heat, until it starts to shimmer or pool a bit in the bottom of the pan.
While the pan is heating up, prepare the chops. Sprinkle both sides of the pork with salt and pepper, to taste. Once the pan is hot (and not before!) carefully place the chops in the pan.
Sear the pork for about 3 to 5 minutes, without moving it or turning it, until it is a nice golden brown.
Then turn it over and sear the other side another 3 to 5 minutes. I had a couple of thinner chops and some that were quite thick (more than an inch), so they had different cooking times. Remove the chops and place on a plate. Cover with foil and allow the meat to rest for a few minutes before serving. This will allow the internal temperature to warm up a bit more as well as seal in the juices.
And that’s it! Serve your nice and juicy pork chops with fresh garden peas, new potatoes, and a garden salad for a great farm-fresh meal. Or, if you don’t have those things yet (as I don’t … not yet at least!), a baked potato, store-bought peas and some nice crusty bread is pretty good, too. Enjoy!
For specifics on cooking pork, please visit the American Pork Producer’s website. Here is a link directly to the cooking recommendations page.