Perfectly Braised Pork Chops…well, as perfect as possible!

Mar 20, 14 Perfectly Braised Pork Chops…well, as perfect as possible!

We had this for dinner last night — I started by grabbing four different recipes from Julia Child, and edited/adjusted/simplified them. My quantities are to feed a family of four – assuming 2 pounds of pork, either boneless or after deboning.

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OK, so pork chops are dry. Because of that, you must, must MUST marinate them. AND, you must serve them with a sauce. Otherwise you’ll hate them. Here are the recipes I used for the marinade and sauce. And by the way…this marinade was so tasty that my chums started eating it raw. No lie. I had to slap them away!

Dry Marinade – quantities are PER POUND

2 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper, ground
½ tsp thyme
¼ tsp bay leaf (crush it between your fingers as small as you can)
Equal Pinches of:

  • Ground nutmeg
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground cloves

1 heaping tsp minced garlic (about 2 cloves)

Massage this into the pork and cover. I did about 18 hours in the fridge and the last 6 at room temperature. Turn the chops every few hours – 4 times total.

Braising

When you are ready to start the braising, preheat the oven to 325. Remove chops and brush off any excess marinade. Dry thoroughly with paper towels.

In a dutch oven on the stove top, heat olive oil and brown the chops – about 3 ½ minutes on each side.  Temporarily remove the chops and pour out any excess fat.  Melt 2 Tbsp butter and return the chops to the pot, turning them to fully coat in butter. Cover the pot and place in preheated oven for about 30 minutes.

During the braising period, turn and baste with butter at least twice. There should be no pink remaining when done.

Remove and slice thinly. Arrange on plates and drizzle with sauce. If you have any sauce leftover, serve in small ramekins or egg cups at each place setting for dipping.

Spicy Brown Sauce

1 ½ cup brown demi-glace (see separate recipe)
½ cup dry white wine
1 Tbsp finely chopped shallots (Use your ONION CHOPPER!!)
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt to taste (I used about 1 tsp)
1 Tbsp butter
Generous handful fresh parsley, finely diced (ONION CHOPPER, again!!)

The key here is to make sure you’re using shallots. People say for flavor you can substitute green onions, but the only thing you want in this sauce that’s green is the parsley, because for KIDS, aesthetics make the difference between eating and picking.

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