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All Recipes > Pan-seared, Oven-roasted, Thick-cut Pork Chops or Ham Steaks

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Pan-seared, Oven-roasted, Thick-cut Pork Chops or Ham Steaks

If you’re making one of our pan sauces (Spicy Citrus Pan Sauce or Sweet and Sour Pan Sauce with Bacon and Tomatoes) to accompany the chops/ham steaks, you may opt to use only water, sugar, and salt in the brine and omit the other flavorings. If the meat isn’t being cooked immediately after brining, simply wipe off the excess brine, place it on a wire rack set on top of a rimmed sheet pan, and keep it in the refrigerator, uncovered, to air dry for up to 3 hours. Should you choose to make one of the sauces, have all the ingredients ready before browning the chops or ham steaks, and begin the sauce while the chops/steaks are in the oven.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt or 1/2 cup table salt
  • 10 medium garlic cloves crushed
  • 4 bay leaves crumbled
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 3 tablespoons whole black peppercorns crushed
  • 4 12-ounce bone-in, rib loin chops, 1 1/2 inches thick or ham steaks
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Directions

In a gallon-sized zip-lock plastic bag, dissolve sugar and salt in 2 cups of hot water. (It will be easier if you first place the bag in a high-sided bowl.) Add garlic, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns, and 4 cups cold water; cool mixture to room temperature. Add pork chops or ham steaks, then seal bag, pressing out as much air as possible. Refrigerate until fully seasoned, about an hour, turning the bag once. Remove meat from brine and dry thoroughly with paper towels.

Adjust oven rack to the lower-middle position, place a shallow roasting pan or jelly-roll pan on the oven rack, and heat oven to 450º. When the oven reaches 450º, heat oil in a 12-inch, heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat until shimmering but not smoking (about 2 minutes). Place chops/steaks in skillet; cook until well browned and a nice crust has formed on the surface, about 2 minutes. Turn meat over with tongs; cook until well-browned and a nice crust has formed on the second side, about 2 minutes longer. Using tongs, transfer chops/steaks to the preheated pan in the oven. Roast until the instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of each chop/steak registers 125-127º (8-10 minutes), turning meat over once halfway through cooking time. Transfer each chop/steak to a platter; cover loosely with foil. Be sure not to wrap the foil tightly around the meat. Let rest about 5 minutes. Check internal temperature; it should register about 145º.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Cook's Illustrated magazine. For more information on Cook's Illustrated, visit www.cooksillustrated.com.


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