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Best pork chops ever? You be the judge – TwinCities.com |

Best pork chops ever? You be the judge – TwinCities.com

I have a new favorite way to cook pork chops.

Thought it might not be the quickest or easiest, this recipe produced what are easily the most tasty chops I’ve ever made at home.


I also love the smashed potatoes that accompany the dish. They’re different and unexpected, but also easy and comforting.

I tossed some green beans into the potato water after they cooked to add some color to the plate, but the original recipe is just for the potatoes and beans.

CORNMEAL-FRIED PORK CHOPS AND GOAT CHEESE-SMASHED POTATOES

My adaptation of a Smitten Kitchen adaptation of a recipe from “Heritage” by Sean Brock.

For the pork chops:

6 boneless pork chops (about 3 ounces each)

About 3 cups buttermilk, whole milk if you can find it

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

2 cups yellow cornmeal

Cayenne pepper or cajun seasoning

Canola or sunflower (which is what I used) oil for frying

For the potatoes:

3 pounds small-to-medium red potatoes, scrubbed

Kosher salt

1 cup half-and-half

6 ounces soft goat cheese

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, diced and chilled

¼ cup finely sliced fresh chives

Freshly ground black pepper

Marinate the pork chops: Pound each pork chop (using a meat pounder) between two pieces of plastic wrap to 1/8-inch thick. Place the chops in a container and cover them with the buttermilk. Cover and marinate at least four hours or overnight or in the refrigerator.

Prep the smashed potatoes: Put the potatoes in a large pot, cover with water and add ¼ cup salt. Bring the water to a simmer over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook the potatoes until fork-tender, about 20 minutes for small potatoes or 30 minutes for medium ones; try not to let the water boil.

Cook the chops: Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Remove the chops from the buttermilk, discarding it and patting most of the buttermilk off the chops. Season the chops with salt and cracked pepper. Put the cornmeal in a shallow bowl and season it with salt and cayenne pepper or cajun seasoning. Dredge the chops in the cornmeal, gently shaking off the excess, and put on a large plate.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. When the skillet is hot, add a ¼ inch of oil and heat for 1 minute. Carefully place 2 pork chops in each skillet; do not shake the skillets or touch the chops for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook the chops until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Carefully turn the chops over and cook until golden brown and crispy on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes more. Discard the oil in the skillet if it gets too murky and repeat with remaining chops. Place the fried pork chops in the oven to keep warm while you fry the remaining chops.

Finish the potatoes: When the potatoes are almost cooked, bring the half-and-half to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Drain the potatoes and place them in a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon, carefully smash each potato without breaking it apart. Pour the hot half-and-half over the potatoes; crumble the goat cheese, butter and chives over them then fold it together — I only did this once or twice, preferring to keep as many small pockets of goat cheese throughout as possible. Season with salt, if needed, and white or black pepper.

Serve: The potatoes and chops together.

Category: Skillets  Tags: ,  Comments off
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