You know our bone-in pork chops are juicy and flavorful, so why not double down! Grab a 2-3 pound pork tenderloin roast from us at market to cut your own super-thick or custom sized boneless chops.
Our pork tends to be fairly lean, since the hogs are trotting back and forth on pasture all day, so we didn’t see a need to trim the roast. Plus we know that pastured pork is much higher in natural omega-3s from eating all that forage, and that nutritional benefit to you comes via the fat. See Nancy’s post on pork lard here.
Interestingly, the original recipe for these chops mentioned using “natural pork” which we usually assume is just greenwashing. In this case it actually referred to the difference with “enhanced” pork, which has been injected with a salt and preservative solution. The enhanced stuff doesn’t brown and has dull flavor. Our pork is definitely not enhanced. No hormones, no antibiotics, no preservatives, no nonsense.
Chops can be paired with all sorts of things, so we’ll leave that up to you. Here we simply baked a spaghetti squash and topped it with butter and fresh ground pepper, sauteed some purple kale (Gardener’s Gourmet) with garlic and grated cheese on top, and whipped up an apple/red wine/balsamic sauce for the chops. Chops would also go great with a few of our ravioli, butternut squash comes to mind, or maybe bacon sage?
Pan-Seared Thick Cut Pork Chops
Original recipe from Cooks Illustrated
- 1 2-3 lb Smith Meadows pasture-raised pork tenderloin roast
- dash of salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons high heat vegetable oil
- Place a cast iron skillet big enough to hold as many chops as you’re making in the oven. Turn oven to 500F and let the pan heat completely. Note: if you don’t usually heat your oven this hot your smoke alarm may go off! Prep your sides while you wait, start anything like squash or potatoes.
- Meanwhile, cut your roast into even sized pieces as thick as you’d like. I actually used a (washable) ruler to get 1.5″ chops. Salt and pepper chops on both sides. Try smoked salt if you have it handy.
- Carefully, with thick oven mitts, remove skillet from the oven and place over high heat on the stovetop. Add the oil and heat until just smoking. Boil water for pasta at this point.
- Add chops to the pan with tongs so you can place them where you want them without moving them around. Cook on the first side for 2 minutes until nicely browned, then flip. Keep flipping, adjust the heat as needed, two minutes on each side until a thermometer reads 120-125 degrees F and exterior is darker brown and crispy. Do not leave the chops for too long on a side or they will overcook.
- At this point the chops are not yet completely cooked- remove them from the skillet and place on a plate under foil for 10-15 minutes. This is called “carryover cooking”- the chops will continue to heat until they are about 140 degrees F. They should be light pink in the centers when done. Fire any quick-cooking sides while the chops rest on the plate- sauteed greens take ~5 min, ravioli boil in 2 min.
- Serve and enjoy! Share your platings and pairings with us: #smithmeadowsfood
Thank you – this is all about technique (and of course quality ingredients!) and I really
appreciate the detailed instructions. By the way what is the dark purple side dish pictured?
Purple kale, lightly topped with shredded cheese. Yum!