I discovered by accident that searing the pork chops twice gives them a beautiful crust and juicy interior! I was preparing this dish as a 2nd course, after a first course of pasta with Romano and toasted peppercorns. I wanted most of the 2nd course prep done while we were enjoying the first course, so I decided to pre-cook the pork chops, searing them over medium high heat for just a couple of minutes on each side, then removing them to a plate, tenting them with foil, and letting them rest. When I returned them to the hot pan to finish cooking, the 2nd sear formed a beautiful crust. Now, I always cook this dish by searing the chops twice, even if it’s not the 2nd course.
Serve over rapine, drizzled with roasted garlic caper sauce. You can blanche the rapine ahead of time, then sauté it in olive oil just before serving.
Yield: 2 first course servings
What you need
2 thick-cut, bone-in pork loin chops (chops should at least ¾ to 1 inch thick)
8 cloves roasted garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon capers, chopped
½ cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
What to do
- Roast garlic in a 350 oven until tender, about 45 minutes. (Wrap whole, unpeeled cloves in foil, drizzle with a little olive oil, and pop them in the oven.) Let cool, then squeeze cloves from the peels, and chop. (You’ll end up with a combination between a mash and a chop!)
- Season pork chops with salt and pepper. Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy pan (cast iron is best), then sear for two minutes each side. Make sure your pan is hot enough to put a good sear on the chops.
- Remove chops from pan (don’t clean pan!) and tent with foil.
- When you’re ready to finish chops, heat the pan and return chops to pan, cook for about 3 to 4 minutes a side. (I think pork should always be served medium, just a little pink inside, but many people prefer their pork well done. Time the chops to cook them to your liking.)
- Remove chops to a plate, tent them with foil, and let them rest while you prepare the sauce.
- Deglaze the pan with white wine, then add chicken stock, roasted garlic and capers and reduce by about a third. If you want more sauce, simply use more stock.
- Season with salt and pepper to your taste.
- Plate pork chops over rapine (or vegetable of your choice), drizzle with sauce, and serve immediately.
*The featured image is not an actual representation of this recipe. The image has been sourced from the web*