I’ve met many people who’ve had an amazing Niman Ranch pork chop at some fine establishment and wish they could make it at home. Most folks hesitate to purchase thick cuts like this, however, so they end up having to enjoy their favorite pork-centric dish in a restaurant.
You may be one of those people who’s intimidated when it comes to cooking a pork chop up to two inches thick, but figuring out the right way to cook it is well worth the effort. Though this may not be the same way great chefs are doing it today, this is a sure-fire way to get the job done with great results.
If you want to get technical, the pork chop should be 145 degrees in the center, which should still be a bit soft to the touch but firm enough to bounce back. Generally, I like my pork to be bone-in. Why? First, it slows down the meat’s cooking, so it gives you a little more leeway to get a good, crispy sear on your chop. Second, the bone gives the meat a richer flavor.
I also suggest you let your chops sit on the counter for about 30 minutes before beginning to cook them. If the meat is too cold, the outside will overcook while the inside comes to the right temperature. Giving the pork a little time to warm up will ensure a nice crust on the outside, with a tender center.
Find the official recipe here.
Uncle Rich’s Thick Cut Pork Chops with Mushrooms
2 thick cut Niman Ranch pork chops
One large shallot, sliced
One or two cloves of garlic, diced
2 cups mushrooms, chopped (I used Crimini and King Oyster, use what you like or have)
1½ cup chicken broth, add a splash of Makers Mark if you like
2 tablespoons each butter and olive oil
½ tablespoon Salt
½ tablespoon Pepper
½ tablespoon Paprika
1 teaspoon Cumin
4 tablespoons flour, set aside
- Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix the spices and give the chops a rub, then dust lightly with the flour.
- Heat an oven-proof pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add up two tablespoons of olive oil and one tablesppon of butter.
- When the oil and butter melt and begin to simmer, start by cooking the chops standing on the bone end for 5 minutes. This will let the heat move up the “T” of the bone.
- After you’ve heated up the center bone, cook on each side for 4 or 5 minutes, depending if you like your chop to be just-cooked or cooked through. This picture shows it just-cooked.
- Optional: I like to stand up the chops on the bone end for 2 or 3 minutes more after this point.
- Slide the pan into the hot oven and set your timer for 10 minutes.
- After the 10 minutes are up, remove the chops from the pan and place on a plate or chop block to let them rest while you cook the mushrooms. Put tin foil over top if you’re worried about them becoming too cold.
- Add your garlic and shallots to the pan juices and cook, stirring, for one minute.
- Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 or 3 minutes, until just starting to brown.
- Deglaze the pan by adding chicken stock or other liquid while scraping the good stuff off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. This is a good time to season with salt and pepper.
- Let the liquid reduce for 5 to 10 minutes, however long you like, and serve.
- If you have some finishing salt in the cupboard that you rarely use, use it now!
Have fun cooking something for someone you love,