Date night for 2 this weekend is gonna look a lot like this: Garlic Thyme Pork Chops!
So growing up we didn't really eat meat at home. Not because we didn't like it - but because my mom rarely bought it. And that meant, every time we would go out my dad would order all the meat. Usually it came in the form of pork chops. Now here's the thing with pork chops - sometimes it can be really dry - and we DEF do not want that. So here's how to remedy that - BRINE!
If you've never brined meat before, it's essentially letting the meat soak in a seasoned salt water mixture so it soaks up all the moisture and retains it during cooking. And THAT my friends is exactly how you should cook a pork chop!
Just let it hang out with some friends in a garlic, thyme, peppercorn, salt water situation and then into a cast iron skillet once you've patted it dry!
The results come in the form these super succulent Garlic Thyme Pork Chops that you can serve alongside any side dish for a perfect fancy pants dinner in!
Garlic Thyme Pork Chops
For the brine:
- ¼ cup Kosher salt I use Morton’s
- ¼ cup sugar
- 8 garlic cloves lightly crushed
- 8 black peppercorns
- 3 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups ice cubes
For the Pork
- 2 bone-in center-cut pork chops each about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 garlic clove lightly crushed
- 1 fresh thyme sprig
- To make the brine, in a saucepan over medium heat, combine 3 cups water, the salt, sugar, garlic, peppercorns, thyme and bay leaf and stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Pour the brine into a large bowl and add the ice cubes. Let the brine cool to room temperature.
- Add the pork chops to the brine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
- Preheat an oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Remove the pork chops from the brine and discard the brine. Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels and let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. Season the pork chops heavily with salt and pepper.
- In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the pork chops and sear, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Add the butter, garlic and thyme to the pan and heat until the butter is melted. Carefully tilt the pan so the butter pools at the edge of the pan and use a spoon to baste the chops. Transfer the pork chops to the oven and continue cooking until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the chops registers 145°F (63°C), about 5 minutes more. Transfer the pork chops to a platter and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.