Pork chops, like steak, are versatile and easy to cook. Taken from the loin of the pig, they have a generous fat layer on one side and sometimes have a small piece of bone left in. Served with vegetables and mustard or a simple sauce, they make a great speedy meal; however, they can easily become tough and dry if you’re not careful with the temperature or timings.
The key with chops is to maximise the flavour by cooking the fat on the outside really well over a high heat. This should be done quickly so as not to dry out the meat inside. You can help to keep the chops nice and tender by doing one of the following:
- Soaking the chops in a brine
- Resting them after cooking
- Finishing them in a low oven
- Cooling the pan of seared chops by adding a liquid like cider
- Roasting them on top of vegetables so as to protect one side from the intense heat
The quickest way to cook pork chops is to pan-fry or griddle them. As the chops can be quite large this method is best when serving one or two people. If you’re cooking for more you might want to try roasting or grilling.
Pork chops shouldn’t be served raw or rare so it’s a good idea to test the meat with a skewer before serving – the juices should run clear. Check this at the thickest part or, if the chop is on the bone, test as close to the bone as you can as that area can take longer for the heat to permeate.
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Pan fried pork chops recipe
- 1 tsp oil (such as sunflower or light olive oil)
- 2 pork chops
- Rub the oil on the chops and season well with salt and pepper.
- Heat the pan over medium-high heat then add the chops and pan-fry for about 7 mins on each side until cooked through.
- Make sure to brown fat on the edge, too.
- Take the pan off the heat and leave to rest for a few mins then pour the resting juices over the meat to serve.
How to cook pork chops in the oven
- 750g new potatoes
- 500g vine-ripened tomatoes
- 2 garlic cloves
- 3-4 rosemary sprigs
- olive oil
- 4 pork chops
- Heat oven 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Wash the potatoes, but don’t peel them. Cut into thickish slices then cook in boiling water for 6-8 minutes until almost tender; drain. Slice the tomatoes to the same thickness. Chop the garlic, then strip the rosemary from the stalks and chop the leaves fairly finely.
- Drizzle a little olive oil in the base of a shallow ovenproof dish wide enough to take the chops in one layer. Arrange rows of potatoes and tomatoes across the dish, seasoning with salt and pepper as you go and sprinkling with half the rosemary and all the garlic.
- Drizzle a couple more tablespoons of olive oil over the vegetables and bake for 15 minutes, then sit the pork on top, season and sprinkle with the remaining rosemary. Return to the oven for 35-45 minutes, until the pork and potatoes are tender.
Grilled pork chops recipe
- 4 pork chops
- 4 tbsp apple sauce
- 100-140g blue cheese
- Turn on the grill. Season the chops on both sides with a good sprinkling of salt and pepper. Grill under a moderate heat for 12-16 minutes, turning once, until just cooked (or 16-18 mins if not adding a topping).
- Add the topping if using. Thinly slice the cheese (don’t worry if it breaks up a bit). Spoon the apple sauce or chutney over the chops and top each one with a couple of slices of cheese. Slide back under the grill for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is melted and tinged brown. Serve with mashed potatoes and a green veg such as leeks or broccoli, and with any melted cheesy bits from the bottom of the pan.
Our top 5 pork chop recipes:
Herb brined pork chops
Soaking pork in a juniper, coriander and thyme brine keeps it succulent and plump – griddle until just charred for an attractive main.
Summer pork, fennel & beans
Pan-fry thick pork chops, then roast with cherry tomatoes, shallots and cannellini beans to make an easy one-pot dinner.
Braised cabbage with pork
Cook cabbage in cider, with juniper and caraway, top with pan-fried spare rib pork chops and bake for a warming, hearty supper.
One-pot roast pork chops
An Italian-inspired no-fuss dinner.
Pork chops Lyonnaise
Use up leftover bread to make a crumb coating for our tasty Lyonnaise-style pork chops.
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