Reverse Sear Pork Chop Recipe
A Foolproof Recipe for Perfect Pork Chops
Nothing highlights the difference between high quality pastured pork and the bland, dry stuff that comes from the supermarket like a properly cooked chop. The eating quality of a pasture raised pork chop is every bit as good as a premium steak in my opinion, and the preparation is even easier. For some reason steaks seem to benefit disproportionately from grilling. While I love grilled pork chops, they are every bit as tasty seared in a frying pan.
‘Reverse sear’ refers to the practice of cooking a chop or steak to the desired level of doneness in a low oven, then finishing it quickly in a hot frying pan. This works so well for two main reasons. First, cooking the chops in a low temperature oven and using a thermometer to gauge when they are done ensures evenly cooked chops that haven’t dried out at all. Second, because the outside of the chops has started to cook in the oven, they get a perfect, crispy sear in no time.
The Proper Temperature
The USDA recommends cooking whole cuts like pork chops to an internal temperature of 145, which in my opinion is ideal. I recommend pulling the chops out at 142, since the internal temperature will rise a few degrees during the initial rest and when you sear the outside.
A Note About Time
While a proper reverse sear takes a while, almost all the time is hands off, and it is extremely forgiving. If you have a thermometer that can monitor the temperature of the pork chops as they cook you don’t even need to think about them during the baking process. And it’s no problem if they come to temp in the oven 45 minutes early; simply cover them loosely with a piece of foil and let them rest until you’re ready to sear them.
I often get frustrated by recipes that focus on the total time a preparation takes without mentioning how hands on it is. While it’s true that sometimes dinner needs to get on the table fast from start to finish, which is why I like hamburger rice so much. But if you have time, cooking reverse sear pork chops is every bit as easy.
What to Serve With Reverse Sear Pork Chops
Good pork chops don’t need much in the way of accompaniment, but if you have time a flavorful sauce like a classic pistou is a wonderful accompaniment. The bright flavors of lemon and basil combined with a note of fresh garlic are a perfect accent to a richly flavored chop without being overwhelming.
In keeping with the idea of a meal that can be made without much of a fuss, I suggest simple, quick sides, like a salad or sautéed broccoli. Pair with a dry red wine or cider and you have a meal that is dangerously close to perfect.