What with it being the other white meat and all, pork chops are a great way to spice up your weekly dinner routine. I am partial to bone-in pork chops because the bone helps keep in the flavor and moisture that can be lost with a boneless chop. Think of the preparation almost identical to the way that you would prepare a chicken breast. They are both low in fat and natural flavor, so you try to add both of those things where you can. I happened to have an orange, so Mark suggest an orange-pepper rub on the chop and then sauteed in olive oil. Really, au poivre is just "pepper" in French, but it sounds super fancy, so I stuck with it. We've been making our steaks at home with a thick pepper crust lately so I figured why not try a similar preparation with pork chops. I went pretty heavy on the cracked pepper to give it almost a citrus/pepper crust. We really loved it and it was so simple that it works so well for a weeknight dinner. It was a very unique flavor and one that I will replicate on chicken in the near future.
Orange au Poivre Pork Chops
2 bone-in pork chops
zest from 1 orange
1/2 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1. To make the orange-pepper rub, mix together the zest, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
2. Score the fat on the pork chops by making 3 or 4 small slices into the fat around the chop. The fat will keep it juicy, but if you don't score the fat, it will contract when you cook it and make your chop curl and cook unevenly (you'll see).
3. Generously sprinkle the spice mixture on both sides of your chops.
4. Heat about 2 Tbs. olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the chops to the hot oil and cook for about 4 minutes per side until the chops are cooked through.
See how the fat contacts and you needed to score the fat!! I told you! Otherwise the chop will curl up and then it won;t have even contact with the pan so it won't cook evenly. Then half your chop would be overcooked and dry while the other half would be pink.
5. I served with greens and cornbread. Yum!
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