The Best Pork Chop Recipe E-v-e-r

by Cate on September 3, 2008

Pork in a PanOr also known as Happy Birthday to The Husband, who turned the big 4-2 today! 

I am not a big fan of pork chops.  Never have been.  I can probably count on one hand how many times I have made them … and still have fingers left over.  But The Husband?  He rather likes them, so for his birthday, it hit our dinner menu.   The first time I had Pan Roasted Pork Chops with Bourbon Sauce, it was nearly three years ago.  Nan had brought them to my old Supper Club, perfect for the Cooking with Alcohol theme we had planned.  Although I loved them then, the recipe got quickly stuffed into my tried-and-true file, never to see the light of day… until today. 

The pork chops in this recipe hang out in a brine with simple ingredients (water, salt and sugar) for an hour or two, and I think the brine here is the key.  The end result produces pork chops that are like no other.  So very tender that it might as well be butter.  With a nice slightly thick sauce with bourbon, garlic and heavy cream, it’s enough to make a reformed pork hater swoon … almost.

On the fence about pork yourself?  Then give this one a try.  You just might change your mind.

Hungry for more pork recipes?
Kalyn’s Kitchen grilled up some pork chops with Soy Sauce, Cumin, Lime and Oregano.
Deb from Smitten Kitchen fell in love with a crunchy baked version.
And Serious Eats combines sweet and savory with a Vietnamese-inspired recipe with caramel sauce.

A year ago today…Mmm, Spanish Flan that I now want to make again since I just saw the picture.
Two years ago today… simple birthday wishes.
Three years ago today… mom on the loose.

Pan Roasted Pork Chops with Bourbon Sauce
Recipe courtesy of Cuisine at Home magazine, June 2002

Pork Chop Brine:
Dissolve in one gallon resealable freezer bag:
2 cups hot water
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
6 cups ice water

Dissolve salt and sugar in hot water. It helps to set the bag inside a large bowl in case of spills or leaks.  Add ice water to brine.  This will cool the brine quickly.  Add the pork and seal the bag and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.  Just before cooking, dry chops to remove excess brine.

4 1″-thick brined rip chops
2 T olive oil
1 T garlic, chopped
1 T shallot, chopped
1-1/2 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup bourbon
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 T apple cider vinegar
2 T heavy cream
Reserved pork chops

Preheat oven to 425.  Season chops with pepper.  Dust lightly with flour.  Brown one side in olive oil over medium-high heat.  Turn, cover and roast in oven for about 10 minutes.  While the chops are in the oven, saute garlic and shallot in 1 T drippings over medium-high heat until soft.  Deglaze pan with bourbon and broth.  Add sugar and vinegar; reduce by half.  Add cream and pork chops to pan and cook for 2 minutes each side until sauce is thick.  Makes 1 cup sauce.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

claire September 4, 2008 at 1:25 am

Happy B-day to the husband. I do like pork chops but don’t have them often. They remind me of my Papa, though. He made them a lot, and quite well, when we ate with him. I, however, prefer pork loin from the pork family.


Ali September 4, 2008 at 10:20 am

Wow, these look and sound amazing, Cate!! Adding them to the recipe file. :)


Jenny September 4, 2008 at 10:25 am

Wow Cate, this does look like the best pork chop recipe ever! I can’t wait to give it a try!


jan September 4, 2008 at 11:24 am

thanks, cate… your recipe reads like something I can ‘riff’ with. My husband is the family pork-eater and I rarely make anything with it. If I get super-creative and do it with something other than pork, I’ll mention it here.


Tami March 29, 2009 at 2:19 pm

Cate — Made these last night and I agree with you, best pork chops ever! I was only able to brine them for an hour and it was successful. My only issue is they were a bit salty (I used sea salt vs kosher).


Denise BrownStone August 27, 2009 at 6:20 pm

this is one of my favorite recipes ever and I can’t find the Cuisine magazine any where in my house. Thanks for recreating. I do cook them in the iron skillet like in the recipe and let them rest while I do the sauce, then return the chops. No matter what they are super good. Thanks again


Allison H November 3, 2010 at 1:10 pm

Wow these were so yummy. Didn’t use the bourbon, just chicken broth and added 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard and used half and half instead of heavy cream (all I had). WOW I am saving this recipe it is great for entertaining!


Emily S. January 11, 2011 at 9:15 pm

My husband couldn’t stop raving about these. He said, “This is the greatest pork chop recipe ever.” I used about half the amount of sea salt in the brine due to a previous comment. I had a few questions about the recipe–when you turn the pork chops, do you brown them on the second side at all, or do you put them straight into the oven? Also, when you put them in the oven, do you put them in a separate pan or start out with an oven-proof skillet? I assumed you put them in a seperate pan for their “oven-time”, due to deglazing the pan while the pork chops are in the oven. Thanks for making me look so good to my husband!


Yael September 25, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Wow cate these look super thanks for sharing. I am going to make them for my man tonight. Pork chops were on sale at HEB giggle giggle


tatwood October 25, 2011 at 6:59 am

Way too much brown sugar in the sauce – 1/4 cup! Much too sweet – it ruined the sauce. Maybe 1 tablespoon would work, but next time I’ll start with a teaspoon.


Sean Murphy October 9, 2012 at 9:56 pm

Very much agree that a 1/4 cup of brown sugar would have been too much. I started with a heaping tablespoon, and it came out perfectly balanced. Great recipe otherwise, big hit with the family. Will make again….soon!


JRiley January 25, 2016 at 5:57 pm

I didn’t brine because I cannot eat much salt but this was absolutely delicious. My family loves pork and I’m always looking for a new recipe. Sure glad I stumbled upon this one!


peachy January 28, 2017 at 4:33 am

EXCELLENT! Followed the recipe exactly and these were a definite winner. Thanks for sharing this one.


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