Reverse Sear Pork Chops with Quick Shallot Herb Pan Sauce
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Ready for the best pork chops of your life? Reverse sear pork chops are perfectly cooked, tender, and juicy inside with a gorgeous golden crust on the outside. And a quick, flavorful pan sauce brings it all together. It’s easy, promise.
Why we love this recipe
These pork chops bring together a few basic techniques to create a next-level result. They are:
- Dry-brined — Rubbing with a bit of salt and sugar and resting in the fridge overnight is a super-easy way to make pork chop shine.
- Reverse-seared — Baking at a very low temperature first and then searing in a blazing hot pan on the stovetop to finish gives you great control over the cooking process.
- Drizzled with shallot herb pan sauce — In just a few minutes, this easy, savory sauce adds a whole other dimension to this meal.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe.
For the pork chops
The only hard work in putting together this recipe happens at the butcher counter. (And it’s not actually hard.) Here’s what you’ll need.
- Ask for rib chops cut 1 1/2 inches thick. Rib chops are a nice, tender cut (read the FAQ section below to learn all about them), and the thick cut is additional insurance that you’ll get a nice sear at the end without overcooking the chops.
For the pan sauce
This is a fantastic all-purpose pan sauce recipe that you can use for lots of cuts of meat. It’s perfection on reverse sear pork chops. You’ll need:
- Butter, flour, and the pan drippings come together to make a roux.
- Minced shallot, thyme, and sage add tons of flavor. If you don’t have fresh herbs you can substitute 1/2 teaspoon each of dried.
- I use all-purpose flour. To make this recipe gluten-free, you can swap in a measure-for-measure gluten-free flour like this one.
- If you’re not feelin the wine, you can add extra broth instead.
How to make reverse sear pork chops.
Here’s all you need to do to make these stellar chops. You can see all the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post.
Prep and cook the pork chops
- Rub a little bit of salt and sugar onto the chops. Learn all about dry brining in the FAQs below.
- Waiting 24 hours after dry brining is best practice, but if you don’t have the time, you can let the chops sit at room temperature for 30 minutes after rubbing and still have a great result.
- Next up: Bake the chops low and slow until they reach 110°F on an instant-read thermometer. Do not be tempted to leave them in longer than this. They’ll finish cooking through while you sear them.
- Sear both sides of the chops as well as the fat cap so everything is gorgeous and golden. (Refer to the video to see this happen.) You don’t want to crowd the pan, so you’ll probably need to sear in batches. A good old cast-iron pan goes a long way toward getting a great sear.
Make the sauce
The sauce comes together in the same pan in just a few minutes.
- Pour out any used cooking oil from searing the chops. Then sauté the shallot and herbs in the butter.
- Stir in the flour and cook it for a minute or so.
- Add the wine and let it bubble up and simmer a bit. Then add the broth. Stirring almost constantly helps prevent lumps.
- The sauce will thicken over the course of a few minutes. That’s it!
Our favorite source for meat
For years, we’ve been sourcing our meat from Butcher Box. We love this curated meat delivery service, which provides grass-finished beef, heritage breed pork, organic chicken, and more from small farms direct to the customer. You can learn more in our extensive Butcher Box review and unboxing.
Expert tips and FAQs
I love the term dry brine. It sounds so official, doesn’t it? It’s a process, people. Do you want to know what the process is, though? It’s sprinkling a little too much salt and maybe some sugar onto meat and then waiting a while. That’s it. Yay.
Brining can help meat stay tender and flavorful, but wet brine is a pain in the butt and can prevent a good sear. Dry brine is kind of a magic solution (pun intended).
Salting meat draws out a little bit of its moisture, which dissolves the salt, and then the whole thing gets reabsorbed into the top layer of meat, infusing it with flavor and goodness.
The little bit of sugar in this recipe helps the chops sear perfectly and also enhances the flavor of the pork. (You’ll hardly notice it, but pork works well with a touch of sweetness.)
Reverse searing is pretty genius, you guys. It gives you a beautiful, golden, crisp exterior but also a lot of control over the cooking process. I would never have thought of this technique on my own, and I’m so glad someone else did.
Here’s what it means to reverse sear: you start by cooking meat at a very low temperature, in this case at 250°F in the oven, until it’s not quite done. Then you get a cast-iron pan blazing hot and spend 3 to 4 minutes just searing the bejeezus out of the chops, quickly developing a coveted crust and bringing the interior up to temperature in the process.
I will spare you a pig diagram, because you and pigs both deserve better. But here’s the deal.
Rib chops, like all pork chops, are cut from the loin, which basically runs down the pig’s back between shoulder and tush. (I say tush because butt is confusing on a pig — more on that never.)
It’s a good, tender cut, once reserved for the wealthy, and is where the expression “high on the hog” came from. The loin gets cut into chops if we’re having chops. Rib chops come from behind the shoulder and can be pretty varied depending on whether they’re cut from closer to the shoulder or the tuchus. (Technical term.)
Regardless, they take well to brining and searing, and they should cook nice and evenly, so they’re a good choice for this dish.
How to serve these chops
Reverse sear pork chops with shallot herb pan sauce go well with a wide variety of traditional side dishes. They’re pictured here over brown butter white bean puree.
They’d also be great with:
- Yukon gold mashed potatoes
- Basmati rice pilaf
- Lemony orzo
- Mixed greens with perfect balsamic vinaigrette
For the dry-brined pork chops
- 6 bone-in pork rib chops cut 1 1/2 inches thick (see note)
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
For the pan sauce
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 sprig fresh time
- 1 sprig fresh sage
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 1/2 cups stock
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- The night before serving, place a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet and lay pork chops on top. In a small bowl, combine salt and sugar and rub evenly over chops. Place, uncovered, in refrigerator.
- Preheat oven to 250°F with a rack in the center. Place pan in oven as-is and bake chops until an instant meat thermometer reads 110°F, which should take about 30 minutes. Start checking after 25 minutes. (I need you to trust this process -- don't raise the oven temperature, and don't be tempted to cook the chops past 110° at this stage. It will all work out in the end.)
- Heat two tablespoons of the oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet over high heat. Turn on an exhaust fan — things could get exciting.) When the oil begins to smoke, add two pork chops to the pan. Sear for about one minute on the first side without tinkering — chop should be deep golden-brown. Then flip and sear a minute or so on the other side until beautifully golden. Finally, stack the chops and pick them up with tongs, holding the “fat cap” (the fatty side of the chop) against the bottom of the pan to sear. Remove chops to a plate, pour off used oil (but don't wipe pan), and cook remaining chops two at a time in the same way, starting with fresh oil. (Or use multiple skillets).
- To make the sauce, pour the used cooking oil out of the pork chop pan and discard, but don't wipe or wash the pan. You want to keep all those good cooked-on bits. Set the pan over low heat and melt the butter. Add shallot, thyme and sage and cook, stirring, for just a minute until the shallot is tender but not too brown. Stir in flour, raise heat to medium, and cook for a minute or two, until very frothy. Stir in wine and stock (along with any accumulated juices from the chops) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until thickened to a gravy consistency, about 5 minutes. Off the heat, stir in parsley. Spoon sauce over plated pork chops just before serving.
Ask your butcher to cut the chops for you. They're thicker than most pre-cut chops, and that really helps to keep them perfectly cooked on the inside.
Recipe and technique adapted from Serious Eats.
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