Petitchef

Cider-Glazed Boneless Pork Loin Chops (Cook's Illustrated)

 While shopping at the meat section of my grocery store, I was smitten with a row of beautiful, thick boneless pork loin chops.  I don't recall the last time I cooked this cut of meat, so I asked the butcher to wrap up three chops to make for Sunday supper.

 It's a little scary how I can recall from my memory a particular recipe that I've bookmarked, and have moved very high on my "must try" list.  Then again, I almost always find a recipe from any Cook's Illustrated publication.

The Complete America's Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook: Every Recipe from the Hit TV Show With Product Ratings and a Look Behind the Scenes, 2001-2011
I have bookmarked dozens of recipes from one of my favorite recipe sources. The Complete America's Test Kitchen Show Cookbook is worth every penny, as it has every recipe they've made, through Season 10.  Christopher Kimball, and his team of chefs do a lot of recipe testing to perfect so many recipes.  Boneless pork chops can be easily overcooked-- whether you fry them or bake them.  I am not a fan of baked chicken or pork, because I am a firm believer that searing meat and then roasting them has a much better flavor. America's Test Kitchen came up with a great idea, I thought, and tonight was the night to test their technique.  Here's their quote:
Published March 1, 2006.  

Why this recipe works:For a quick and flavorful pork chop recipe with moist, juicy meat, we settled on the pan-searing method and added flavor with a glaze. To prevent the chops from drying out we seared them on just one side until they were well browned, added the glaze mixture, then gently "poached" the chops in the glaze. This approach helped the chops retain moisture and reduced the glaze to the right consistency.
To begin, you'll want to make the glaze. The ingredients are all items that are in my pantry: apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar), apple cider, light brown sugar, soy sauce (I used low-salt Tamari) and Dijon mustard, and a pinch of cayenne.  Whisk that together and set aside.

Trim the chops and slash through fat and silver skin with sharp knife, making 2 cuts about 2 inches apart in each chop (do not cut into meat of chops). Pat chops dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in heavy-bottomed 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until smoking. Add pork to skillet and cook until well browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Turn chops and cook 1 minute longer; transfer chops to plate and pour off any oil in skillet.
Add the glaze mixture; cook over medium heat until center of chops registers 140 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove skillet from heat; transfer chops to clean platter, tent with foil, and let rest 5 minutes. The ideal temperature should be 155F once the meat has rested, as it continues to cook.

NOTE: Because my chops were 2" thick, I covered the pan and allowed these to poach/cook for about 18 minutes.

When chops have rested, add any accumulated juices to skillet and set over medium heat. Simmer, whisking constantly, until glaze is thick and color of dark caramel (heatproof spatula should leave wide trail when dragged through glaze), 2 to 6 minutes.
TIP: You'll want to see increased bubbles, caramel color, and a spatula just starts to make trails.Be patient, as the pan sauce will begin to thicken.

 Return chops to skillet; turn to coat both sides with glaze. Transfer chops back to platter, browned side up, and spread remaining glaze over chops. Serve immediately.

 Perfection! I'm hungry!

TASTING NOTES:  The glaze is A-ma-ZING!  Seriously, it's thick and sweet, a little tangy and slightly savory, and flavorful... it gets several O-M-G's from me!  The pork was so moist and juicy.  Craig and I split one of the chops, as they were very large. My 6'2  22 year-old son ate an entire chop, along with some smashed potatoes and a green salad.   The dinner table was pretty void of conversation as we each enjoyed this very quick and delicious way to serve pork.  This recipe moves up very high on my rotation list. In fact, I think this glaze would be excellent with salmon.  Love, love, LOVE this recipe. 

A printable recipe card follows.

Thank you America's Test Kitchen/Cook's Illustrated! 

Your fan,



                                Cider-Glazed Boneless Pork Loin Chops        <p>This excellent recipe comes from America&#8217;s Test Kitchen (Cook&#8217;s Illustrated).   Boneless pork chops can easily be overcooked and tough. But, using a technique of searing them and then &#8220;poaching&#8221; the chops in a sauce of apple ...             See Cider-Glazed Boneless Pork Loin Chops on Key Ingredient.    
   
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