In Search of The Perfect Pork Chop

Butcher Bock Gourmet Store

Thursday, February 21, 2019

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“Pork. The other white meat.”

— the National Pork Board of America.

Whether you like to pan-fry it, cook it in the oven or on the grill, pork is an amazing juicy meat.

Eschew all thoughts of pork being less healthy than chicken! Here's a fun fact: leaner cuts of pork — for example, the pork chop or pork tenderloin — can have as few calories as 120 compared to a chicken breast at 139 calories (based on a 3 oz portion).

Now that we have that out of the way, let's go in search of the perfect pork chop. A good pork chop starts with the pig. Is yours coming from an old or young pig? And what was it fed? This is where your butcher comes in. If you do not have a good butcher, then I would recommend purchasing a brand of pork you know and trust.

How you plan to cook your pork will determine the required cut of pork.

A thicker pork chop will better retain moisture compared to a thinner version which will dry out fast. I also recommend getting one with the bone in; this may take longer to cook but adds more moisture and flavour.

Your pork chop should be slightly pink and have marbling running through it. Marbling is the presence of white fat veins.

Whether you are using thick or thin-cut pork chops or a big roast for the oven, I strongly recommend seasoning 30 minutes to four hours before cooking.

Here are a few tips:

Tenderise. Puncture with a fork on both sides to allow your marinade and seasoning to penetrate the pork.

Pan-Fried, Stove-Top

1 Season pork chop (3/4 to 1-inch thick) with your preferred seasoning. I like to use Private Label Apple Pork Rub or Private Label Pork Chop/Roast Rub (found exclusively at Butcher Block).

2 Season both sides of the pork chops.

3 Combine the flour and some paprika. Pat each side of the pork chops in the flour mixture, and then set aside on a plate.

4 Heat a little oil over medium to medium-high heat. Add a good bit of butter. When the butter is melted and the butter/oil mixture is hot, cook 2 to 3 pork chops at a time (or what can fit comfortably in the frying pan), 3 to 4 minutes on the first side. Flip and cook until the chops are golden brown on the other side, 2 to 3 minutes (make sure no pink juices remain). Remove to a plate and repeat with the remaining pork chops.

Grilled

1 Marinade and season your pork chops (3/4 to 1-inch thick). Pour in a small bowl either one of my favourite sauces, Private Label Bourbon Glaze or Private Label Honey Mesquite.

2 Sprinkle both sides of the pork chops with salt and pepper and place in a resealable plastic bag with the marinade seasoning. Keep in the fridge until 30 minutes before cooking. Rest on the counter for approximately 30 minutes or until room temperature is reached.

3 Heat grill to medium heat. Remove pork chops from bag and sprinkle with salt and pepper again. Place on the grill and cook until the pork chop releases from the grill, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side for another four minutes.

Oven-Roasted

1 Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

2 In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, Private Label Apple Pork Rub or Roast Pork Rub (found at Butcher Block or from chef Simon Levy). Using a brush, spread the mixture all over the pork shoulder.

3 Set the meat on a rack placed in a roasting pan. Roast for 20 minutes, and then reduce the heat to 325 degrees F. Continue to cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the shoulder reads 185 degrees F, about 4 hours. Remove the pork from the oven and let stand until cool enough to handle, about 30 minutes.

For more tips and to purchase your weekend meats, pop by:

Master Meat Crafter Gregory Burrowes

Located at Butcher Block, Upper Manor Park Plaza

Shop #A7

Or telephone 876-668-4481


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