Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Cider Sauce
Provided by: Lauren Braun Costello
Pork chops are inexpensive to buy and quick to cook. Plus, the meat is lean, which is terrific for health, but not so great for taste. Preparing a quick pan sauce turns something basic into a restaurant-quality dish. Searing the chops stovetop and deglazing the pan with cider vinegar adds a tangy punch that brightens the flavor of the meat.
- 4 boneless pork chops, 1-inch thick
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 2 shallots, minced
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Thyme leaves for garnish
- Gather these tools: cutting board, chef's knife, wet measuring cups, measuring spoons, large sauté pan, tongs, wooden spoon, whisk
- Season the pork chops on both sides generously with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable oil and swirl to coat the pan. Place the pork chops in the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes, until nicely browned. Turn and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Remove from the pan and loosely tent with foil to keep warm.
- Add 1 tablespoon butter to the pan, then add the shallots and thyme sprigs. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes, until the shallots have softened and caramelized. Add the cider vinegar and reduce until almost evaporated, about 3 minutes. Then add the apple cider and chicken stock and simmer until the sauce is reduced by half.
- Discard the thyme sprigs. Return the pork chops to the pan, along with any juices that have been released. Heat for 1-2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and place the pork chops on plates or a platter. Whisk in the butter and season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
- Spoon the sauce over the pork chops and serve immediately.