Let me start by saying this could possibly be the easiest pork chop recipe ever.
Historically, I haven’t been much for pork chops. Growing up, they tended to be tough (sorry, Mom!), and even as I became an adult and started cooking for myself, I found it difficult to make tender chops. I did find over time that certain techniques (like brining) yielded delicious chops. Carol over at Simply…Gluten-Free has shared a maple-brined pork chop recipe that is divine. For a long while, that has been my go-to for successful pork chops.
Until a few weeks ago, that is. You see, while brining isn’t all that time-intensive or difficult, you have to remember to actually do it in advance. I’m typically a great meal planner and keep a pretty good routine for dinners from night to night. It keeps me sane. But sometimes, life gets in the way. I’m caught at work, or am not at home the night before to make a brine, or it’s otherwise been a hectic, crazy week. It’s then that I don’t look ahead to the following day. I forget to take meat out to thaw, and so am instead quick-thawing in a sink full of water, hoping I can have dinner on the table in a reasonable amount of time. Such was the case with some pork chops. So I thawed them out, and decided to wing it.
I seasoned the chops and decided to sear them in a cast-iron skillet using the same method I use for both steak and my lamb chops, since that method takes all of about 10 minutes to make. I admit – I was slightly doubtful that we would have anything but tough chops that night. But I went with it, being careful not to overcook them. As they started in the pan, the idea of a quick sauce came to mind. I quickly mixed together dijon mustard and honey, and once they went into the oven, brushed some onto the chops.
After a quick little rest and a visit onto our plates, what resulted was a small miracle. These chops were tender, moist, and delightful! The honey and dijon glaze perfectly complimented the flavor of the pork without overwhelming it. I typically plan for leftovers, but there were none – my husband and I both ate more than our fair share. If it was polite to lick our plates clean, we totally would have.
Of course, just to be sure it wasn’t a fluke (or a particularly excellent set of chops), I tried this once again last week with a leaner chop. Again, success.
So while most of the time, preparedness is key to a good meal in our home, this time, winging it served me well. This will definitely be a repeat in our home – I hope in yours as well!
Dijon and Honey Pork Chops (gluten-free, dairy-free)
1 lb pork chops, about 1-inch thick
Salt, pepper and your favorite herb seasoning blend (I currently adore Bragg’s Sea Kelp Delight) to taste
3 T honey
3 T Dijon mustard
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pat the chops dry with a paper towel and season on both sides with salt, pepper, and herb seasoning. In a small bowl, stir together the honey and mustard until blended.
Heat a cast iron skillet to medium-high heat. Add the chops to the skillet and allow to sear for a minute or until brown. Flip to the other side and brush with a bit of the honey and mustard blend. Place in the oven.
Bake for 5 minutes, turning the chops halfway through and brushing with more of the honey and mustard blend. Remove from the oven and place on a plate (don’t leave in the hot skillet, or they’ll continue to cook!) to rest for 3-4 minutes, brushing with any remaining sauce.
What are some of your favorite quick, healthy meal ideas? Share at Udi’s Gluten-Free Living Community!