Pan Roasted Pork Chops with Cranberry Sauce

I find that one of  my greatest challenges in the kitchen is finding enough preparation time. There are few Fall/Winter main course  recipes that I really love that don’t require an advance marinade or slow cook. Often times, I pack way too much into a weekend and have too little time to prepare for a nice meal at home with friends. So, I’m on the hunt for new Fall recipes that require little preparation. Slow cooking a roast is all great – and if you have a slow cooker – more power too you! But, I’m in need of quick and easy yet elegant Fall main course dishes that can save me time and still impress friends and family. It’s getting darker earlier and shorter days are no excuse to cut back time in the kitchen and around the table!

With that said, I found myself wandering the Fresh Market on Saturday morning looking at my favorite Epicurious App on my iPhone for inspiration (it’s free and so helpful!). Between the spinach and meat section, I stumbled on myself (hello world!) and this recipe for Pan Roasted Pork Chops with Cranberries! It is totally quick yet hearty for a cold night! And, how can you pass up fresh cranberries this time of year. The Fresh Market also has really beautiful (and inexpensive) rib pork chops at their meat counter – perfectly thick and cut well!

So, I made my way to Durham that afternoon (new West Elm!) without a hint of worry that dinner wouldn’t be ready for friends at 8pm that night.  That night with little time, I seared the pork chops, made this fantastic tart and savory sauce and relaxed around my dining room table the remainder of the night with friends and Pinot Noir. You can’t beat that!

Pan Roasted Pork Chops with Cranberry Sauce from Gourmet Magazine, November 2001

For pork chops

  • 4 (1 1/4-inch-thick) rib pork chops
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

For sauce

  • 1/3 cup minced shallots (2 medium)
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock or broth
  • 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Cook pork chops:
Pat chops dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown chops, about 3 minutes per side.

Transfer skillet to oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally 2 inches into meat registers 155°F, 7 to 9 minutes. Transfer chops with tongs to a platter, leaving fat in skillet, and cover chops loosely with foil to keep warm.

Make sauce:
Sauté shallots in fat remaining in skillet over moderately high heat, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add wine and deglaze by boiling over high heat, scraping up brown bits, until reduced by half. Add cranberries and stock and simmer, stirring occasionally, until cranberries begin to burst, about 2 minutes. Stir in brown sugar and thyme and simmer, stirring, until berries are collapsed, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter until incorporated, then season with salt and pepper.


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