First of all, I want to thank everyone who bought my cookbook or spread the word about that crazy deal last week. The Kindle version of The Ancestral Table climbed from somewhere in the top 105,000 to the #12 book on all of Amazon! My time near the top of the list was short-lived, but it was pretty awesome knowing that my book made it into so many new hands.
We spent our Thanksgiving with Sarah Ballantyne and her family in Atlanta, and came home earlier this weekend with enough time for me to develop and photograph a few dishes. After the hubbub of a holiday meal, I was in the mood for something simple and straight-forward. Pork chops came to mind. These easy glazed chops come together in less than an hour and are impossible to mess up. Bear in mind that you’ll want an instant-read thermometer to make sure they’re perfectly done; we use and love this one.
Don’t worry about the cut of chop (bone-in, center-cut, etc) for this recipe. Any of them will work fine, although thick chops are preferred; thin chops tend to try out quickly and are best prepared with a marinade, like in the Lemongrass Pork Chops recipe found in my book.
Seasoning the pork chops with salt 20 minutes before cooking them will allow the salt to enter the meat and better retain moisture.
Easy Glazed Pork Chops (Paleo, Primal, Gluten-Free)
4 thick pork chops
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
2 tbsp ghee, duck fat, or lard
salt to taste
1. Using a small knife, cut two slits across the fat to prevent the pork chops from curling during step 3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside for 20 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 400F. Combine the vinegar, broth, honey, mustard, tamari, thyme, and pepper in a small saucepan; bring to a simmer over med/low heat, then reduce heat to low and allow to stay warm while you prepare the pork chops.
3. Heat the ghee in a large oven-safe skillet over med/high heat until shimmering. Gently blot any liquid from the surface of the pork chops, then place them in the skillet. Brown until the chops are crusty and golden, about 4 minutes, then flip and brown until golden on the other side. Put the skillet and chops in the oven, and bake until they reach an internal temperature of 145F, about 6 minutes, then transfer to a plate to rest.
4. Pour off and discard any excess ghee from the skillet, then return to the stove over medium heat. Pour the sauce into the skillet and simmer until thickened, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet, 3-5 minutes total. Taste and add salt if needed. Transfer the pork chops to the skillet and coat with the glaze, then serve.
** If you don’t have an oven-safe skillet, simply place a heavy duty baking sheet in the oven as you warm it up, then transfer the pork chops to the baking sheet after browning them.
** 145F may seem like a low temp for pork chops, but that’s because pork will continue to cook off the heat; they’ll be perfect.