Skillet pork chops with a savory pear pan sauce that are simple as they are delicious. In partnership with Wolf, we’re sharing the recipe and some everyday ways to reclaim the kitchen. Jump to recipe.
When the folks at Wolf invited me to help spread the word about its Reclaim the Kitchen initiative, they probably thought I’d be a good ambassador and likely didn’t imagine that I was also the target audience. The fact is that I cook, photograph, write about, and eat most of the dishes on the blog during the day. But, by nightfall, I’m often left scrambling to come up with dinner.
To help home cooks like me and you figure out why we avoid the kitchen, Wolf conducted a “State of Cooking in America” survey. Some of the results were surprising – one-fifth of adults said they’d rather work late than cook (what?!) and others were painfully familiar. According to the survey, “More than two-fifths of adults (43-percent) indicate being too tired as a reason why they haven’t cooked even though they had the time.” (Raises hand.)
The good news is that many of us want to learn better cooking techniques and make and eat nutritious food. Wolf took these survey findings and created technique videos, instructions for basic cooking techniques and more, to help people get back in the kitchen. One of the featured cooking techniques, searing, is at the heart of this simple skillet pork chop recipe.
Ever since Brian and I were first married, the skillet pork chop has figured prominently in our weekly dinner menu. Done right, skillet pork chops have a beautifully seared exterior and wonderfully tender center. Add a dead simple 4-minute pan sauce with caramelized pears, and you have an easy knockout dish worthy of a date night, dinner party, or just an awesome Monday night dinner.
The secret to a great skillet pork chop is to achieve a deep brown sear without overcooking the meat. Start with a hot stainless steel or cast iron skillet. Because cold meat doesn’t sear as well, Wolf recommends setting meat on the countertop for a few minutes to warm a few degrees. To get a nice golden sear on both sides I pat my chops dry and then add just a drizzle of heat-tolerant cooking oil, salt, and pepper on both sides. Once I lay the chops in the pan, I resist the urge to move them, maximizing contact with the pan. Perfectly seared meat is as much an art as a science. Keep in mind that each stove and cooking surface is unique, if you’re a beginner it may take time to get to know the nuances of your stove and pan, but once you’ve mastered searing, you’ll enjoy a lifetime of speedy, delicious dinners.
Chops should be pulled as soon as the temperature hits 140 degrees F (the temp will continue to climb a few degrees). My pork loin was tied, but this recipe should cook up nicely either way. If it is tied, remove butcher twine after cooking and before serving.
I’ve paired my chops with a simple green salad. For a heartier meal, consider serving with a side of rice, cooked whole grain, or roasted vegetables.
- 2 boneless pork loin rounds (1/2-pound, about 1-inch thick)
- 1 teaspoon neutral, heat-tolerant oil (I used grapeseed)
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh sage leaves
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 Bartlett pear, cored and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
Rub pork on both sides with oil along with a pinch each sea salt and pepper.
Set a large stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat (set out a lid for the skillet as well – you may need it later). When the skillet's hot, add both chops. Sear 2 - 3 minutes per side. Insert an instant read thermometer in the thickest part of a chop and check temperature – if temp has reached 140 degrees F, pull chops right away. If not, cover the skillet and cook 1 - 2 minutes longer or until temp has reached 140. Remove pork to a clean plate.
Turn heat to medium and sauté shallot in the same skillet (you should have about a tablespoon of pork fat already in the skillet) until golden. Toss in fresh sage and sauté 1 minute more. Next, pour in the wine. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits. Mixture will bubble and quickly cook down. Add butter; once it's melted, toss in pears and cook, turning once, until both sides are golden with crispy brown edges.
Plate pork chops, layer pears on the top, and drizzle with the pan sauce. Garnish with sage leaves and black pepper.
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