Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sweet Asian Pork Chops

How many times have you eaten dry pork chops? I know my previous attempts have been less-than-yummy...until NOW! Thanks to a great America's Test Kitchen recipe, these are tender, moist and coated in the most delicious sweet Asian glaze. You can add a bit of heat if you want, too.

A couple tricks to remember when cooking these:
  • Start cooking the chops in a cold pan - this prevents them from drying out
  • Cut slices in the fat around the chop, about 2" apart - it'll prevent the pork from curling up
My hubby loves these, he even asked for them the other night. They are officially in our meal rotation.

Sweet & Spicy Pork Chops (slightly adapted from America's Test Kitchen)
1/3 cup apple cider (or apple juice)
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar (make sure you have at least 1/8 cup of brown sugar for later as well)
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon hot sauce (for more heat, add up to 1 tablespoon)
1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
3-4 bone-in rib or center cut pork chops, about 1"-1 1/2" thick
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
Salt & pepper
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

  1. Whisk cider, brown sugar, vinegar, garlic, mustard, hot sauce and cornstarch in medium bowl. Pat chops dry with paper towels. Cut slits through the fat of the chops, about 2" apart (this prevents them from curling when cooking).
  2. Rub chops with oil, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle 1 side of each chop with sugar.
  3. Place chops, sugared-side down, in large nonstick skillet. Place skillet over medium-low heat and cook until chops are lightly browned, 10-12 minutes. 
  4. Flip chops, add cider mixture, and cook, covered with a lid or with foil, until meat registers 145 degrees, or 8-10 minutes. Transfer chops to platter and tent with foil.
  5. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, uncovered, until liquid is thick and syrupy, about 5 minutes. During this time, taste the liquid and add 1/8 - 1/4 cup brown sugar if desired. (I like it sweet!)
  6. Return chops to skillet and turn to coat in glaze. Transfer chops to platter and top with remaining glaze. Serve and enjoy!

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