Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Cider Sauce
Pork chops are inexpensive to buy and quick to cook. Plus, the meat is lean, which is terrific for health, but not so great for taste. Preparing a quick pan sauce turns something basic into a restaurant-quality dish. Searing the chops stovetop and deglazing the pan with cider vinegar adds a tangy punch that brightens the flavor of the meat.
Gather these tools: cutting board, chef's knife, wet measuring cups, measuring spoons, large sauté pan, tongs, wooden spoon, whisk
Season the pork chops on both sides generously with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable oil and swirl to coat the pan. Place the pork chops in the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes, until nicely browned. Turn and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Remove from the pan and loosely tent with foil to keep warm.
Add 1 tablespoon butter to the pan, then add the shallots and thyme sprigs. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes, until the shallots have softened and caramelized. Add the cider vinegar and reduce until almost evaporated, about 3 minutes. Then add the apple cider and chicken stock and simmer until the sauce is reduced by half.
Discard the thyme sprigs. Return the pork chops to the pan, along with any juices that have been released. Heat for 1-2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and place the pork chops on plates or a platter. Whisk in the butter and season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon the sauce over the pork chops and serve immediately.
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