Juicy Pan Seared Heritage Pork Chops With Dijon Au Jus
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An elegant but easy double cut recipe for pan fried pork chops topped with a silky and delicious mustard emulsion or ‘Dijon au Jus.’
These ‘one pan, 20-minute’ juicy pan fried pork chops are lightly caramelized and drizzled with a velvety and creamy Dijon reduction.
Elevated pan fried pork chops! It’s not so much HOW to make a Dijon au jus, but WHY. Let’s just agree that a pan sauce greatly enhances cooked meats and poultry. Kind of like gravy, just milder, a bit thinner, and drawing attention to the subtle nuances of the protein it will be served with.
In this method, the pork chops are cooked and plated and covered tightly to allow them to rest and their juices to redistribute. Ham stock is added to the still hot skillet and gently heated. Now we get busy scraping up any fond (browned bits) that has developed from cooking the pork. This is where the concentrated flavor is, and we are going to use it to our gastronomic advantage!
By adding some light cream and Dijon mustard to the ham stock, the fond begins to melt as the thickening liquid reduces with heat. Any juices accumulating on the dish the chops are resting on is now returned to the pan. After simmering and reducing slightly, the heat is turned off, and the au jus rests undisturbed for 5 minutes to further thicken. I like to return the chops to the pan and nestle them in the au jus, but it may also be spooned over pork the chops once they’ve been plated.
What is already a juicy double cut chop is given an edge with the Dijon au Jus in that it continues to keep the meat moist, while providing a mild, simple, and creamy gravy that coats the meat. It pairs very well with both rice and mashed potatoes and has never met a noodle it did not like!
If you crave simplicity but demand outstanding flavor, my method for Homemade Ham Stock should be on your ‘to-do’ list. In addition to these Pan Seared Heritage Pork Chops, leftover ham and homemade ham stock is used in
Creamy Plantation Potato and Ham Soup
Authentic Guinness Dublin Coddle
Fresh Asparagus Herb And Ham Frittata
Best Southern Ham Gravy With Cheesy Biscuits And Eggs
You don’t need to visit a posh chop house to revel in a meaty pork chop pan-seared to mouthwatering perfection.
Waking up to Ruth Reichl on my radio alarm back in the day was my first experience listening to somebody describe the art of food and food science. The critic in disguise spent decades making veiled visits to Manhattan eateries for the purpose of a review. And Ruth Reichl reviewed it ALL.
I loved to listen to her lulling native New York tongue articulate words illustrating flavors and aromas and colors of food. She painted the overall ambiance of a location with her words in such detail that you thought you were sitting at the table. Ruth was my first food heroine. Her lucid narratives could make or break a venue. Her opinions decided if chef’s would work to cook another day.
Pan-searing builds more complex flavors by browning the proteins in the meat.
Following up on an article in the New York Times with an actual in-person visit to a Greenwich Village chop house, I recall her depiction of the house specialty for rosemary Dijon pork chops. She began by talking about the flavor of the olive oil used on the seared pork chops. Her contempt for the chef’s decision to use an oil with tannins that diminished the wine and the salt used in the Dijon cream sauce had her in a roar.
Ruth’s forthrightness, as if speaking to the chef directly rather than 25 million New Yorkers who were also awake to hear her analysis, was both excruciating (for the now dispirited chef), and exhilarating. Listening to her, I wanted command of all of those adjectives and all of those verbs in Ruth’s vocabulary.
In addition to being a fast meal to prepare, it’s extremely lean.
Fast forward to today. Ruth Reichl is no longer an anonymous face to the world and I am a food blogger. Never did I see either coming! I own and have devoured every book Ruth Reichl has ever written. And yet I still do not manage her word bank even fractionally.
But…I do know food and I do cook very well. I want for nothing more than to impart my wisdom, the wisdom I have gleaned from the greats like Julia Child, Sara Moulton, Ruth Reichl, and the empress of cookbooks, Judith Jones, to YOU.
What Are Some Tips For Mastering Pan Seared pork Chops?
Time needed: 30 minutes.
There are four steps necessary to master Juicy Pan Seared Heritage Pork Chops With Dijon Au Jus. Four. And they’re EASY. Have at the ready a plate large enough to place the cooked chops onto, as well as aluminum foil to wrap them tightly. Grab your cast iron skillet, and let’s give these Dijon mustard pork chops a go.
I am working with double-cut Heritage chops today. Boneless. Mouthwatering. Liberally season them on all sides with black pepper and Kosher salt.
I will almost always advise you to bust out your cast iron skillet for recipes like these. It makes sense. The heat is evenly distributed and the sear id HOT and FAST. So, place your cast iron atop medium-high heat and add about 2 teaspoons of olive oil. It’s go time when the oil shimmers but is NOT smoking. Id your pan is smoking, your heat is too high.
I use sturdy kitchen tongs for this step and basically do the EDGES (which includes any fat caps) one chop at a time. I hold the chop with the tongs and give each edge a solid 1 to 2 minute scorch, rotating the chop with the tongs to make sure all edges are seared and sealed. Then, I lay it flat to cook for 3 to 5 minutes on each side while beginning the edges of the next chop. Cook to 135°F and remove them to the plate you set aside and immediately cover them with the sheet of foil. Pork must read 145°F before it is considered fully cooked. Covered, the chops will continue to cook under the foil and remain super juicy. Simply re-check the temp after the Dijon Au Jus is prepared. Place the chops back into the pan and the au jus covered for just a few minutes over low heat until they register the 145°F and before serving.
- Prepare Dijon Au Jus
This pan jus recipe is like taking the training wheels off and could not be easier. Use every bit of those browned bits in the bottom of the cast iron to layer the au jus. You will have mastered au jus 101 by the end of this step.
Do you have what is needed to make Juicy Pan Seared Heritage Pork Chops With Dijon Au Jus? Check the list!
double cut Heritage boneless pork loin chops
olive oil or canola oil
ham stock or chicken stock
good quality Dijon mustard
All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC
Juicy Pan Seared Heritage Pork Chops With Dijon Au Jus
- cast iron skillet
- aluminum foil, preferably heavy gauge
- 4 6 ounce boneless pork loin chops
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil may substitute canola oil
- ½ cup ham stock may substitute chicken stock
- 3-4 tablespoons Dijon mustard begin with 3 tablespoons and taste for additional if necessary
- ½ cup light cream may substitute half and half; au jus will be slightly thinner
- Prepare a plate large enough for the pork chops once they are cooked and a sheet of aluminum foil to cover. Set aside.
- Combine the Kosher salt and the black pepper in a small bowl and swirl to mix.
- Place a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and heat to shimmer.
- Use your fingers to pinch the salt and pepper mix and liberally rub all sides of the chops.
- I use sturdy kitchen tongs and give the edges of each chop a 1-to-2-minute sear, rotating the chop with the tongs to make sure all edges are seared and sealed. Next, lay it flat to cook for 3 to 5 minutes on each side (depending on thickness, for a 2-inchchop, I go 3 minutes) while beginning the edges of the next chop.
- Cook to 135°F and remove them to the plate you set aside and immediately cover them with the sheet of foil. Pork must read 145°F before it is considered fully cooked. Covered, the chops will continue to cook under the foil while their juices redistribute.
- Lower the heat and add the ham stock to the cast iron skillet. Use a spatula to scrape up the fond and browned bits from the bottom and sides. Stir in Dijon, any accumulated juices from the pork chops that has collected on the plate, and light cream and bring to a boil. Re-cover the pork chops once again.
- Reduce heat and simmer uncovered, stirring frequently for 5 to 6 minutes and slightly reduced. Au jus will thicken as it reduces/cooks.
- Turn the heat off and leave the au jus atop the burner undisturbed for another 5 to 6 minutes. Get a temperature reading on the pork chops again. They MUST read 145°F to be fully cooked. If the chops are not 145°F, replace the chops to the pan and cover. Heat over low for 2 to 3 minutes until they register 145°F. If however the chops are fully cooked and registering 145°F, you have the option of plating and spooning the au jus over top, or replacing into the au jus and serving coated with a ladle for spooning additional au jus.