January 28, 2013

Dijon and Honey Pork Chops

Let me start by saying this could possibly be the easiest pork chop recipe ever.

Seriously.

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!

Print Recipe

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.

Serves 3-4.

What are some of your favorite quick, healthy meal ideas? Share at Udi’s Gluten-Free Living Community!

This post is linked to 5-Ingredient Mondays over at The Daily Dietribe and Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays over at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.

18 Responses to “Dijon and Honey Pork Chops”

  1. What a simple marinade that sounds so good! Yay for quick meals, thanks for sharing. Do you know if i can use agave as a substitute? It’s currently the only liquid sweetener I hve on hand.

    • Pink – I don’t see why not?! You won’t have that honey flavor, obviously, but you could use it. Although I wouldn’t even be opposed to a mustard-only brush on the chop, personally. :)

  2. You know, I have never had pork chops? This kind of post is exactly what I need so that I know the simple way to make them taste their best. Thanks for sharing over at 5-Ingredient Mondays! We’re getting such a great list of easy gluten-free dishes going!

    • Iris, that’s crazy! You gotta try them sometime. Especially if you can get your hands on some pastured, organic pork (mine is from a nearby farm). It’s so much more flavorful than the stuff in the stores. Thanks for getting 5-Ingredient Mondays going!

  3. Yum! Honey Dijon is one of my favorite flavors – I usually do it on chicken but pork is a great idea!

  4. HOLY COW!!!! you are so right. This is the very first time I have made pork chops in the pan that I wasn’t tempted to get the electric knife (or chainsaw??) out to cut through. On the negative side, my husband and I are now missing a workout as we could easily cut through these tender pieces of “yummy-ness” without breaking into a sweat. thank you thank you thank you :) you may take the rest of the day off hahaha

  5. It sounds like a wonderful meal. One of the biggest mistakes people make is to over cook pork. For many years “they” told us to cook pork until it was well done, but in actually pork is best cooked to medium and is not required to be cooked any longer than that for food safety. A combination of not over cooking it and your amazing sauce sounds like the perfect combination!

  6. lol Chaz doesn’t care about manners. If he really likes something, he will lick the bowl or plate. THAT’S how I know something is great. But it’s usually someone else’s recipe! I am going to have to try this. He loves pork chops, but I don’t make pork often…it happens when you eat it ALL the time growing up.

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  8. I’ve been wanting pork chops lately, so I think this will show up on our menu soon!

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  10. I made these this week and they were awesome!!! I made about 8 huge pork chops, so after I seered them I transferred them to a baking dish and they took a little longer to cook, but other than that I followed the recipe and it was a huge hit! I even whipped up some more dijon mustard and used it for a dip :) Thanks for the recipe!

    -Cassidy

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