It's FALL Y'ALL, and these juicy, succulent chops are simply divine nestled amidst a harvest of maple kissed autumn pears!
All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC
Pan Seared Pork Chops With Maple Roasted Pears
Pears can be used in a wide variety of ways as fruit juices, jams, pies, and in fruit salad. But culinary adventurists know that pears can also be used for many savory dishes. So in terms of conquering the gastronomic sciences, pears paired with everything from ramps and garlic, to fermented beans and particularly moldy cheeses, are the most fabulous of fruits to start with! The varieties that stand up in braises, roasts, and grilled dishes are Anjou and Boscs, both types of dense European cultivars. Purchase somewhat under ripe and allow to ripen for a day or two on your counter before using. Overripe pears, regardless of variety, will break down in your recipe. Leave the stems in tact for a visually stunning presentation as I have here in photos!
It may just be me, but I feel like pears are an underrated fruit.
I am going to bat for the pear today. It may just be me, but I always feel like pears are an underrated fruit. I really cannot see why. Pears are less acidic than apples, are rich in vitamins, dietary fiber, anti-oxidants and minerals, and their calorie level is among the lowest of any fruit.
Instead of another sweet tart or preserve, I'm flipping the bill and tossing pear quarters with some maple syrup to roast and caramelize in. Then, and only once they are good and golden, I'm hitting them with a mixture of chopped garlic, white wine, and coarse whole grain mustard.
Oh…and with juicy pan seared pork chops. So, do I have your attention yet? Thought so…
How This Recipe Came About…
Nesting! Charleston, South Carolina's weather has FINALLY allowed for some fall nesting. I am taking EVERY advantage of the cooler nights and mornings, and trying to get some really incredible autumn bakes in as well as some heartier autumn-inspired dinners. So, you know…I am nesting.
Maple is one of my favorite flavors to work with. My big box store sells large jugs of real maple syrup for a reasonable price. I guess now is when I should mention that in this recipe, and all maple related recipes on Not Entirely Average, I specify REAL MAPLE SYRUP. Aunt Jemima, Log Cabin, Mrs. Butterworth, and Hungry Jack…those are NOT real maple syrup. They are pancake syrup. Do not use or substitute in this method.
Leave things to the folks at L.L. Bean in Freeport, Maine to capture 'fall in a bottle.' REAL maple syrup harvested from maple trees in America. Click image for pricing.
Getting back to maple. It just feels natural to want to incorporate maple in a big way in the fall. Yesterday, I wrote several posts to include maple bacon. So yeah, maple is a thing for me. So are pears if you hadn't guessed by my intro.
My Mom has been nagging at me to cook up some gorgeous medium cut bone-in pork chops she purchased and subsequently froze. Playing with the measurements for combining maple and pears could make pork chop recipes like this one the shining star of fall!
Do You Have What's Needed For Pan Seared Pork Chops With Maple Roasted Pears? Check The List!
under ripe Bosc or Anjou pears
medium cut bone-in pork chops
real maple syrup
fresh garlic cloves
dry white wine
whole grain mustard
fresh flat leaf parsley
unsalted, toasted walnuts
How Long To Pan Fry Pork Chops?
Okay, so even if you nix the pear part of this recipe, this method for pan fried pork chops couldn't be easier. Because these are bone-in chops, you need to ensure the meat is cooked right straight through to the bone. To do this, we need to employ the oven to finish the chops.
So set your oven for 425 degrees Fahrenheit. I use heavy gauge aluminum foil to wrap a sturdy rimmed baking sheet, as this recipe can get a bit messy. The aluminum makes cleanup just so darn easy.
Grab your trusty cast iron and heat just a tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet over medium high heat. Rinse and thoroughly pat the chops dry with a piece of paper towel. Season pork chops, top and bottom and all sides, with 1/2 teaspoon EACH Kosher salt and each a pinch of black pepper. This method requires seasoning heavily in the beginning so you will not have to season heavily at the end.
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Once the oil is shimmering, add the chops to the smoking hot skillet. Resist moving the chops. Allow them to sizzle for 2 to 3 minutes on one side before flipping to sear on side number two.
Now, they won't be cooked through, but that's where finishing in the oven comes into play. Cooking this delicious pork chops recipe means you must cook pork chops until your meat thermometer says the meat has reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
If doing without the pears, place the cast iron pork chops onto the prepared baking sheet and pop into the preheated oven for 6 to 8 minutes more. If executing the recipe with the pears, follow the recipe card and prepare for the easiest autumn pork chop recipe known to mankind! I'll give you a hint - it gets a gorgeous garlic butter pan sauce at the end.
Do I Have To Use Bone-In Pork Chops?
No. I specify them because they are less likely to dry out quickly. This gives them the time in the oven alongside the partially roasted pears that they need to bring the pears AND the meat to where they both must be to serve.
I love a good boneless pork chop and would have no issue using a Heritage chop in this recipe. You'd need to be sure to increase the time the pears would roast on their own from 10 minutes to 14 minutes. Add a boneless chops after 14 minutes and roast together for 5 minutes more.
If you are like me and cut pork chops yourself from a whole boneless pork tenderloin, try to keep the chops at least an inch thick.
How Long Do Pan Seared Pork Chops With Maple Roasted Pears Take To Prepare?
This cook is essentially 30 minutes in total. I brown the chops while the pears and maple are roasting in my oven. Once combined, they go in the oven for about 5 to 7 minutes together, a tad longer if you prefer the pears soft versus just tender.
Modifying The Norm To Make It Not Entirely Average…
Wow, so many ways to change things up here and make this dish not entirely average. For starters, the pears are easily interchanged with butternut squash cubes, chopped apples, or quince.
I could also see this recipe very easily converting to pan seared filet of beef mignon in lieu of the pork chops. In fact, I think it'd be AMAZING.
Can Pan Seared Pork Chops With Maple Roasted Pears Be Made Ahead?
I have to say 'no' here. I do not see how the elements would or could maintain their integrity after being cooked fully, then refrigerated, then reheated. For starters, the pork chops would absolutely be tough. The pears would likely be okay, but a bit more broken down than they ought to be. And you'd straight up lose any maple flavor achieved during the cook.
Can These Skillet Pork Chops Be Frozen?
Again, no. Sorry! Some dishes are meant to be consumed when they are at their peak and this is one of them. Especially because you are going for a super juicy pork chop here. Freezing doesn't treat all cooks and bakes kindly.
What To Serve With Pan Seared Pork Chops With Maple Roasted Pears?
For this recipe, I served my Cheesy Mashed Potato Casserole and a side of Brown Butter French Green Beans With Toasted Pecans.
If you wanted to be different, Spätzle dumplings or buttered plain gnocchi with some chopped parsley and nutmeg would be exquisite without being much work.
What To Drink With Pan Seared Pork Chops With Maple Roasted Pears?
I can't help myself boasting about an old vine Zinfandel again. No, NOT a bottle of sweet pink wine, rather a deep red Zinfandel grape with nuances of cinnamon and clove. It doesn't get any more "match-in-Heaven-ish" than a red Zin and a pork entrée. It just doesn't.
If beer is your vice, hunt down a dark ale. Dark Ales and Bosc Pears are reminiscent of the holidays with molasses sweet flavors. The Iron Horse Brewery Irish Death Dark Smooth Ale is a top contender. A Pilsner also works as Pilsners compliment pears quite well mostly because Pilsners are known to play off sweet floral notes.
If You Like This Recipe…
…you might also like:
- A Pear Tart With Shortbread Crust
- Herb Crusted Pork With Zinfandel Reduction
- Smoked Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin
- Juicy Pan Seared Heritage Pork Chops With Dijon Au Jus
Juicy Pan Seared Heritage Pork Chops With Dijon Au Jus
Want a bigger or smaller serving size? Hover over the serving size and move the bar until you get the number of servings you want. Easy.
- large cast iron skillet
- large rimmed baking sheet
- heavy gauge aluminum foil
- pairing knife
- cutting board
Ingredients for Pan Seared Pork Chops With Maple Roasted Pears
- 4 pears Bosc or Anjou, cored and quartered
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 4 medium cut (1 1/2-inches thick) bone-in rib pork chops rinsed and patted dry
- 2 - 3 tablespoons real maple syrup DO NOT SUBSTITUTE with pancake syrups such as Aunt Jemima, Log Cabin, or Mrs. Butterworth's as these are not genuine maple products
- 3 cloves garlic fresh, chopped
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup parsley finely minced
- 1/2 cup walnuts unsalted, toasted
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with heavy gauge aluminum foil.
- Toss your washed and quartered pears with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add 1/4 teaspoon each Kosher salt and black pepper and toss again. Turn the pears out onto the prepared baking sheet. Arrange so that all of the cut sides are facing up. Roast the pears for 10 minutes. While the pears are roasting, fry the pork chops.
- In a large cast iron skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil with the butter over medium heat until shimmering. Season each pork chop which you have patted dry with 1/2 teaspoon each Kosher salt and black pepper being sure to coat all sides.
- Fry the chops until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side each. Remove the cast iron from the heat. Remove the pears from the oven. Place side by side.
- Toss the partially roasted pears with the maple syrup. Transfer the partially cooked chops to the baking sheet being sure to nestle in and among the pears and somewhat flat in the syrup against the baking sheet. Do NOT discard the pan juices in the skillet.
- Place the baking sheet with the chops and the pears back into the oven for an additional 5 to 7 minutes. Chops will read 145°F on an instant read thermometer when they are cooked. Pears should be golden brown and tender. While the chops and pears finish in the oven, prepare the pan sauce.
- Return the skillet with the pan juices to medium heat and add the garlic. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the wine and reduce by half. Remove the skillet from the heat and whisk in the mustard and the finely minced parsley.
- Once the chops reach 145°F, transfer to a platter. If using walnuts, toss them now with the pears and the juices while still on the baking sheet. Spoon the pear mixture over the chops and drizzle the pan sauce over top all.
Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
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