A simple glaze transforms this dish into an elegant dinner that’s still easy enough for any night of the week.
4 bone-in pork rib chops or center-cut chops, 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick
1 teaspoon olive oil plus 1 additional tablespoon
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¾ cup orange juice
1. Starting the pork chops in a cold skillet allows them to heat up slowly and hold on to their interior moisture–a method that works best with thin chops. If using an electric stove, turn the burner to medium just before seasoning the chops in step 1.
2. Rub each chop with 1/4 teaspoon oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and cumin. Sprinkle one side of each chop with 1/8 teaspoon sugar.
3. Place chops, sugared side down, in large nonstick skillet and press meat into pan. Cook, without moving, over medium heat until lightly browned, 6 to 9 minutes. Turn chops, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until center of chops registers 145 to 150 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 3 to 6 minutes. Transfer chops to platter, tent with foil, and let rest while making sauce.
4. Add remaining tablespoon oil, garlic, and pepper flakes to empty pan and cook over medium heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add juice and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Tip accumulated juices from platter with chops into skillet, cook 1 minute, season with salt and pepper, and pour sauce over chops. Serve.
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
In our recipe for Pork Chops with Spicy Orange Glaze, we wanted a foolproof method to cook the chops without drying them out. We chose bone-in, center-cut pork chops because the bone helps keep the chops moist. We coated the chops in a salt, pepper, cumin, and sugar rub because the sugar caramelizes, compensating for the lack of a deep sear on the chops. Starting the chops in a cold pan and cooking them over medium heat until browned on one side, then briefly cooking on the second side, ensured the pork chops wouldn’t overcook. A quick, spicy orange-flavored sauce—prepared in a matter of minutes—completed our perfectly cooked pork chops.
Source: Cook’s Country (4 servings)