Frank Proto's pork chop with chimichurri

How to Make Pork Chops Tender

Chef Frank Proto shares his pro recipe with chimichurri.

On the latest episode of Epicurious' 4 Levels series, Institute of Culinary Education Chef Frank Proto demonstrates how to make pork chops soft and juicy with a brine.

Many a home and professional chef have been captivated for years by the best method for how to make a pork chop tender.

Chef Frank sources a heritage breed Berkshire pig that's lovingly cared for and fatty. When it comes to how to get pork chops tender, he recommends using a brine — a salty solution of water, spices and herbs — rather than a marinade. He uses a bag so the pork chops are totally covered in brine, which he refrigerates for 5-6 hours.

A cast-iron pan gives the pork chops a good sear and renders the fat for crispiness, while keeping the pork chops soft. Once the pork springs back when poked, he adds aromatics and bastes the meat with butter. Chef Frank's final touch: a chimichurri sauce for herby and grassy flavors.

Watch the video for the demo and get the complete recipe below.


Pork Chop with Chimichurri

Yields 2 servings


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 Berkshire pork chops, fat on and bone in
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 3-4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Chimichurri (see recipe below)

For the brine:

  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes


  1. Add all the brine ingredients to a sauce pot and bring to a simmer. Then remove from the heat and let it sit until cold.
  2. Place the pork chops in a Ziploc bag and pour in the brine. Let sit refrigerated for 5-6 hours and no longer than 24 hours.
  3. Heat a cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat. Remove the pork chops from the brine, dry them off and lightly season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the oil to the pan, then add the pork chops. Let the meat brown on one side, cooking for 5-7 minutes. Then flip them over and cook on the other side.
  5. After 4-5 minutes add the butter, garlic and thyme. Baste the pork chop over medium heat until done, about 7-8 minutes.
  6. Remove from the pan and let the pork chops rest for 7-8 minutes. Serve with the chimichurri.


  • 1 bunch Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small Fresno chili, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper


  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Pulse mixture 3-4 times and set aside for service.

Study with Chef Frank in Culinary Arts at ICE.

Submitted by Saundra J Dern on August 6, 2021 4:37pm

As Berksire Pork Chops are not available to me will this recipe work on l pork I purchase at the Local meat market. The pork they sell is raised by local farmers. 

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