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large cast iron skillet
instant read meat thermometer
heavy gauge aluminum foil
gallon-sized plastic freezer bag that zips
Ingredients For Cast Iron Pork Chops With Tomatoes
1cupwhole milkor buttermilk
10clovesgarlicfresh, divided; 8 cloves smashed, 2 cloves chopped fine
4bone-in 1 1/2 to 2-inch thickpork loin center cut chops that are well marbled
1largeVidalia onionchopped; may substitute any sweet onion
1(15 ounce) can diced tomatoes with chilieshot or mild
1 1/2 teaspoonsgranulated sugar
Prepare a baking sheet by lining with aluminum foil and inserting a wire rack. Set aside.
Use the smooth side of a meat mallet to smash 8 of the garlic cloves. Add the garlic to the whole milk or buttermilk and let stand 20 minutes.
Load the pork chops into the plastic freezer bag and pour the milk mixture over the chops. Press as much air out of the bag before sealing. Move the contents of the bag around so that all surfaces of each chop are coated. Lay flat on a plate and refrigerate for 2 hours before flipping the bag and refrigerating for at least one more hour (no more than 10 hours).
Remove the bag from the refrigerator. Using kitchen tongs, remove each chop from the bag and shake off any excess liquid. Place each chop on the prepared baking sheet fitted with the wire rack. Discard milk and garlic mixture. Sprinkle both sides of the chops with the Kosher salt and pepper and let stand for 30 to 40 minutes to bring the meat to room temperature.
Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat with the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter. Tilt and swirl the pan to coat the surface well with the oil and butter.
When the oil is shimmering and the butter begins to foam, add each chop to the skillet being careful not to crowd them. Resist the urge to move them around in the skillet. Allow the chops to sear until well browned on the first side, about 4 minutes. urn the chops and sear on the second side for about 4 minutes. Use kitchen tongs to remove the chops to a plate and cover with heavy gauge aluminum to keep warm.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion. Use the back of a spoon to scrape up the fond at the bottom of the pan. Allow the onions to become translucent and golden, about 4 minutes. Add the remaining 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic to the onion and cook for one minute. Stir in the diced tomatoes with chilies, granulated sugar, and 2 tablespoons of butter.
Cook the tomato mixture over medium to medium low heat until the juices are reduced by half, about 10 to 12 minutes. The tomato pieces will be starting to stick slightly to the bottom of the pan at this point.
Remove the cast iron skillet from the heat. Add the Bourbon all at once and use a wire whisk to loosen anything that is stuck to the bottom of the pan. Return to the heat. Add the heavy cream and whisk constantly as you turn the heat to medium high. Mixture will thicken as it bubbles, about 2 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium low. Use tongs to return the pork chops to the pan and the pan sauce along with any accumulated juices from the plate. Cover.
Cook the chops until they reach an internal temperature of 145°F, about 12 to 15 minutes. Once chops are sufficiently cooked through, remove the pan from the heat. Cut the last remaining tablespoon of butter into 4 pieces and dot one piece on top of each chop. Tent with foil and let stand for 5 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute in the meat, the butter to melt, and for the pan sauce to thicken slightly.
Sprinkle the chops and pan sauce with fresh thyme leaves. Serve over fluffy white rice.
Please Note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not use table salt or iodized salt in any of the recipes you find on Not Entirely Average UNLESS specified otherwise.