Juicy, packed with flavour and absolutely delicious. These pan-seared pork chops with garlic butter sauce are indulgent with a touch of sweetness and tanginess. Super easy to make too, using everyday ingredients.
Takes just under 15 minutes to make, this is truly an ideal weeknight dinner! Here are a couple more easy meals with minimal effort: Oven Baked Lemon Chicken Thighs and Honey Soy Chicken Drumsticks. Just marinate and let the oven do the work!
Look at how yum this looks!
Easy ingredients for easy pork chops that will get your tastebuds dancing!
- Pork chops I used boneless pork chops that are rindless when shooting for this recipe. Bone-in pork chops are fantastic to cook with too! Just extend the cooking time a little more. Most bone-in pork chops come with the rinds, simply remove with a sharp knife before cooking. They're a bit too chewy to eat pan-seared!
- Worcestershire sauce adds a tonne of flavour. Think of it as a BBQ sauce and balsamic vinegar hybrid. Substitute: balsamic vinegar.
- Dijon mustard gives this garlic butter sauce an additional layer of oomph! Just a touch will do the trick! Substitute: seeded mustard
To ensure the pork chops are juicy and flavourful through and through, it is important to 1) generously season the pork in advance, 2) let it come up to room temperature before cooking and 3) rest the pork for a few minutes before digging in!
Now, to begin, generously season the pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper. If the pork chops have a nice layer of fat then slice it through with a sharp knife at 1 inch/2.5cm intervals. Like image #2 above.
This will stop the pork chops from curling when pan searing. Thus, allowing for even browning on both sides.
Let the pork come up to room temperature before searing for a minute per side on high heat in a pan. Get the garlic a little golden and aromatic before adding the pork will infuse the oil with that garlicky deliciousness.
Pan searing on high will ensure the pork chops get a nice colour on them. Remember, colour = flavour in cooking.
Finally, add unsalted butter, brown sugar, dijon mustard and worcestershire sauce. Turn the heat down to low (don't want to overcook the pork!), tilt the pan away from you and baste the pork chops with a spoon until just cooked. About 2 minutes.
You know pork is cooked when it is quite firm to touch and its internal temperature reads 145°F/63°C. If in doubt, just cut through the pork and if it has just a hint of pink in the middle, it's safe to eat.
I used to think pork has to be cooked to well done. However, a little pink is okay as long as it is not pork mince (ground pork) or sausages! There is a lot of good information around whether a piece of meat is safe to eat on the Australian Food Safety website, check it out if you've got some time!
Expert tips for pan-searing pork chops
- Let the pork come up to room temperature (pretty much when it is no longer icy cold) before cooking. This will ensure even cooking and juicier pork! This is a technique you want to adopt when cooking steaks and roasts (beef, pork, lamb and chicken)! It's super important!
- Generously season in advance. Properly seasoning meats is game-changing! It makes the world of difference to flavour and tenderness. The result will be phenomenal! This is the secret to delicious and tender steaks at your favourite steak restaurant! If you can, season the night before. Otherwise, 30 minutes is better than nothing.
- Keep the garlic whole, lightly smashed (not minced). Eat with the pork chops, the flavour is amazing.
- Slice the pork fat at 1inch/2.5cm intervals to prevent the pork chops from curling. Helps with even cooking and colouring.
- Tilt the pan away from you when basting. Safety first!
- Loosely cover and rest for about 3 minutes before digging in. Keep the juices inside!
Don't throw the garlic away when serving! They taste fantastic with the pork chops!
Good to know (FAQs)
Like the picture above! Serve with simply sauteed broccolini (or just broccoli) and oven grilled/broiled carrot sticks. Otherwise, a side of salad is always a good idea, such as my roast Pumpkin Salad with Spinach and Goat's Cheese or a simple Red Cabbage Salad with Apple sticks.
This technique is most suitable for thick cuts (about 1.5inch/4cm) with bone-in. Bone-in pork chops are more flavourful (any meats bone-in are more flavourful) and the bones help the moisture stay inside the pork.
Made this recipe? Let me know your thoughts or questions by dropping a note in the comments section below! I'd love to hear from you 🙂
Happy eating! - Gen
Pan Seared Pork Chops
- 4 pork chops boneless or bone-in are both good
- 6 cloves garlic lightly smashed, peeled
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper
- ¼ cup unsalted butter ~60g
- ½ tablespoon worcestershire sauce substitute: balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard substitute: seeded mustard
- ½ tablespoon brown sugar substitute: honey
- Generously season pork chops with salt and pepper (note 1). Slice the pork fat at 1inch/2.5cm intervals to prevent the pork chops from curling. Bring up to room temperature (note 2).
- In a heavy-based pan (or cast iron), add olive oil and garlic cloves. Sear garlic on medium heat for 1 minute or until lightly golden and aromatic.
- Turn the heat up to high and pan sear pork chops for 1 minute per side, undisturbed. Using a pair of tongs to stand the pork chops with the fat sides on the pan for about 30 seconds. This will help render and caramelise the fat a little (extra flavour!).
- Add butter sauce ingredients to the pan, turn the heat down to low. Tilt the pan away fro you and baste the pork chops with a spoon constantly for about 2 minutes or until cooked to liking. (note 3)
- Transfer pork chops and garlic butter sauce onto a serving dish, loosely cover with foil for 3 minutes before serving.