Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Pan-Fried Thick-Cut Pork Chops

Merry Christmas, everyone! 

Growing up, I LOVED fried pork chops. Mom would get the really thin ones, with the bone still on them, and would pan-fry them in a cast iron skillet. I LOVE THEM. Served simply with a dazzling array of Southern sides, from fried okra to collard greens, I always preferred bone-in chops, since the bone lends a certain amount of flavor, AND, in a small way, keeps the meat from doming in the center like a fried bologna bubble! 

This version is similar to Mom's, but uses thick-cut pork chops. The chops are dredges in a seasoned flour, then fried in a butter and oil mixture - the butter helps with the browning. No sauces or thick breadings distract from the taste of pork - the chops stand out on their own. Keep the sides simple, and you've got an elegant meal in minutes! 

Pan-Fried Thick-Cut Pork Chops
adapted from A Sweet Pea Chef

2 center-cut, thick bone-in pork chops
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 Tbsp butter

Pat the chops dry, then season generously with salt & pepper. 

In a shallow dish or pie plate, combine the flour with the cornstarch, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika and cayenne. 

Dredge the chops with the flour mixture to coat completely. Shake off any excess. 

In a cast iron skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the butter and let melt completely. 

Add the chops to the hot oil and cook, 4-5 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Test for doneness by poking with a fork - the juices should run clear. 

Drain the chops on a plate lined with paper towels, then serve immediately.