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 ensure your pork chop is juicy with a brine.
Chef Frank sources a heritage breed Berkshire pig that's lovingly cared for and fatty. To taste the pork, he uses 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. Once the pork springs back when poked, he adds aromatics and bastes the meat with butter. Chef Frank's final touch: 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- After 4-5 minutes add the butter, garlic and thyme. Baste the pork chop over medium heat until done, about 7-8 minutes.
- 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
- Black pepper
- Add all ingredients to a food processor and season with salt and pepper.
- Pulse mixture 3-4 times and set aside for service.
Study with Chef Frank in Culinary Arts at ICE.