It’s New Years week, and I’m taking a break. I should be doing a pork and sauerkraut recipe, a New Year’s tradition for my in-laws. Instead, I’m relaxing on the sofa, while my second Christmas roast is cooking in the oven,2 and finishing up a recipe I wrote a few months ago.
Instead of pork and sauerkraut, here are sous vide pork chops. I want my pork chops medium, 140°F, with just a hint of pink in the middle. Sous vide gives me precise temperature control, making it easy to cook the chops exactly how I like them. I brine the chops for flavor, and to add some juiciness to the meat. I like a hint of sweet with my pork chops, so I add a little sugar into my brine, which also helps the chops sear quickly.
I need a pan sauce with my pork chops – need it, I tell you! After searing the chops, I make a traditional pan sauce, with some garlic, rosemary, and chicken broth. The thing is, I hate to waste the pork juices in the sous vide bag. But, when I add them to the pan sauce, the protein left in the bag coagulates and foams up – and it looks ugly. I skim it off as best I can, but I can’t get rid of all of it. If you want a pretty sauce, skip the “add the juices from the bag” step.
Recipe: Sous Vide Thick Cut Pork Chops with Rosemary Garlic Pan Sauce
- Sous Vide setup (I use an Anova Precision Cooker and a 4.75 gallon Cambro container)
- Brining container (I use an 8 quart Rubbermaid Food Service container)
- 12 inch skillet (Lodge 12 inch cast iron skillet)
Sous Vide Thick Cut Pork Chops with a simple pan sauce. Perfect medium pork – juicy with a hint of pink in the middle.
- 4 cups water
- 1/4 cup Diamond Crystal kosher salt or 2 tablespoons table salt
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 4 thick cut bone-in pork chops
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 2 cups chicken broth
- Juices from sous vide bags (optional)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Brine the pork chops: In a container large enough to hold the pork chops, dIssolve the salt and sugar, then submerge the chops. Brine the chops in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, preferably 4 to 8 hours.
- Sous Vide the pork chops: Remove the pork chops from the brine, and pat dry with paper towels. Vacuum seal the chops in medium (quart) vacuum pouches. Set the sous vide to 140°F/60°C, drop the pork chops in the sous vide, and cook for 1 to 4 hours.
- Sear the pork chops: While the chops are cooking sous vide, preheat the pan over medium-high heat. (I preheat my cast iron pan in a 425°F oven for at least 20 minutes, then move it to the stove top over medium-high heat.) Remove the chops from the vacuum bags, saving as much liquid in the bags as possible, and dry the chops with paper towels. Swirl the vegetable oil into the pan, coating the bottom, then add the pork chops. Sear the chops until they are browned, about 1 minute a side. Remove to a platter.
- Make the pan sauce: Add the garlic clove and rosemary sprig to the pan and cook until just fragrant, about 30 seconds. Whisk in the chicken broth, scraping any brown bits loose from the bottom of the pan. Add the juices from the sous vide bags (optional step). Bring to a boil and boil vigorously until reduced by half, about 5 minutes, skimming any foam from the top of the sauce. Remove from the heat, discard the garlic clove and rosemary sprig, and then whisk in the butter. Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper if needed. You want the sauce to be heavily seasoned, and it will need pepper, but watch the salt – the sous vide bag juices are already salty from the brine. Pour the sauce from the pan into a serving bowl, add the juices from the bottom of the pork chop platter, and serve, passing the sauce at the table.
Adding the sous vide bag juices to the sauce is optional – it will foam up and look ugly, but I like the added flavor.
- Category: Sous Vide
- Cuisine: American
- Want to freeze these chops to cook later? Brine and vacuum seal the chops, then freeze them for up to 3 months before cooking. Add an extra half hour to the cooking time – go for at least 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- No sous vide setup? Use a beer cooler, a thermometer, and hot water: Beer Cooler Sous Vide.
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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