How to Cook Thick Pork Chops that Stay Juicy
There is something incredibly satisfying about cooking a 2 inch thick pork chop and having it retain all its juiciness.
And truth be told, it’s not all that tricky, especially if you’ve got your trusty instant read thermometer on hand. The idea is to sear the outside of the chops on all sides over very high heat at the beginning and then turn the heat way down and have the chops cook very gently, and slowly, until evenly cooked throughout.
Here’s an easy recipe for thick cut pork chops in a mustard mushroom sauce that will work every time, and is really easy.
Thick Cut Pork Chops in a Creamy Shitake Mustard Sauce
There aren’t any exact quantities here because you don’t need any. This is a technique and the “recipe is nothing more than a set of instructions. You can’t go far wrong here (it will taste good) and cooking free from measurement is more fun!
- Thick pork chops, as many as you need
- Salt and pepper
- Some shitake mushrooms (or other mushroom), cut into slices (about a1/2 cup per chop)
- A spoonful of Dijon mustard
- A splash of white wine
- A half an onion, minced finely
- A splash of heavy cream
- Heat a heavy fry pan over high heat
- Using a paper towel or two, dry the pork chops off completely (dry meat will brown more easily – less steam is created)
- Season the pork with salt and pepper on all sides
- When the pan has preheated very well, add a couple of Tbls of vegetable oil to the pan and add the pork to the pan. Fry the pork for a couple of minutes on all sides, (even the side-sides) until the whole thing has a nice browned crust. You’ll find this easier with chef’s tongs.
- Once the pork has browned nicely, remove it form the heat to a plate and turn the heat of the pan down to medium.
- Toss out all but a spoonful or so of fat from the pan and add in the onions and mushrooms, stirring, for 2 minutes or so, or until the onions have softened
- Add in a glug of white wine and a couple of glugs of cream and stir up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the pork (and all juices from the plate) to the fry pan, turn the heat down to medium low and cover the pan.
- Let the pork cook gently in the steamy sauce until the interior has reached about 140 – 150 on your instant read thermometer. Check the temperature every couple of minutes - there is no way to say how long this will take. It depends on the size of the meat, how well it was browned and the temperature of the pan, and so the thermometer is the best, and only, way to any accuracy. The meat will continue to “cook” for a few minutes after off the heat and will rise about another 10 degrees or so.
- Take the pork out and add in a spoonful of mustard to the sauce. Season with salt and pepper and either thin with water or boil down, until you reach a nice “saucy” consistency. Taste again and adjust the salt and pepper as needed.
So easy so good
I like to serve this pork leaned against a mound of creamy mashed potatoes with the mushroom sauce plated to the side.
Use this technique for any thick cut pork chop. If you don’t care for a creamy mushroom sauce, use another one. So long as the pork chops have a gentle steam to finish cooking in, it doesn’t really matter what the sauce is composed of.
Brining the meat is another way to increase the margin of error, making it easier to avoid dry and tasteless pork. Here are instructions on brining pork chops.
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