Pork chops are a staple of the American South and are widely held as a favorite comfort food. Pork is a relatively lean meat, particularly the rib chop cut. Adding a bit of moisture to the roasting pan in the form of chicken stock keeps the pork moist and serves as an ideal base for a quick pan gravy when it finishes cooking. Although a cast-iron pan is ideal for baking pork chops, an aluminum or stainless-steel baking dish will work if you place it on the stove after cooking to deglaze and construct the gravy.
Things You'll Need
Heat the oven to 350 F. Heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil in a cast-iron skillet over high heat for five minutes.
Season the pork chops to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Sear the pork chops in the skillet until golden-brown, approximately 3 minutes on each side. Add to the skillet 1/4 cup of chicken stock and the fresh thyme, sage, rosemary, garlic cloves and sliced shallots. Place it in the oven. If not using a cast-iron skillet, transfer the pork chops to a baking dish and add the herbs and aromatic ingredients.
Bake the pork chops for 1 hour or until they reach a minimum internal temperature of 155 F.
Remove the pork chops and place the skillet or pan over high heat. When the moisture evaporates, deglaze by adding 2 tbsp. of dry white wine to the skillet and scraping the caramelized pieces with a wooden spoon.
Add 1 cup of chicken stock. Bring the stock to a boil, adjust to a simmer and cook until reduced in half by volume. Mix together 1 tbsp. of unsalted butter and 1 tbsp. of all-purpose flour and form into a ball, commonly referred to as a beurre manie.
Strain the sauce in a fresh saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the beurre manie, whisk to incorporate and simmer until thickened. This should take approximately 10 minutes.
Pour 1 tbsp. heavy cream in the sauce pan and stir to mix together. Adjust the seasoning as needed with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
References and Resources"The Professional Chef 8th Edition"; The Culinary Institute of America; 2006
Baked Pork Chops: The Hungry Wife