Eric and I joke sometimes that we have a philosophy that we refer to as “The Champion Quotient.” This is what we call the things we make or do that require minimal effort but have maximum results. You know how some things, whether meals or crafts or house projects, look like they took a lot of work but actually didn’t? Those are the types of dinners (and crafts and house projects) we really love. This is one of them.
I love ordering pork chops when we dine at nice restaurants. Since we don’t cook them all that often at home, they seem extra special to me. (If you’re in Richmond, I highly recommend the pork chop at Saison. It’s one of the best I’ve had.) This recipe has become a favorite in our house, and you’ll see why if you make it. The pork chops are so elegant and delicious, but they require much less effort than you might think. Sear the pork chops; mix up a sweet and tangy pan sauce; cook the chops the rest of the way, and that’s it. The sauce is ridiculously good, and you’ll want to make sure you serve something on the side that you can pour it on top of. Trust me on that.
- YIELD: 4 servings
4 (1-inch thick) pork chops, boneless or bone-in
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
½ cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
½ cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Season the pork chops with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is warm, add the chops and sear on each side, turning once, until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
Reduce heat to medium, then add the honey, vinegar and thyme. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the liquid is thickened and reduced by half. Stir in the broth and bring to a simmer.
Return the pork chops to the pan, cover and cook for 3-4 minutes. Uncover and cook, turning the chops occasionally and basting with the sauce. This could take around 15 minutes for medium doneness but will depend on the thickness of your chops.
Transfer to a plate and tent with foil.
Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer for about 3 minutes, until the sauce is syrupy. Keep an eye on it or you’ll end up with sauce the thickness of caramel. Remove from heat and stir in the butter. Season with salt and pepper, if needed. Drizzle the sauce over the pork chops and serve immediately.