THE KING OF PORK CHOPS: THE PORTERHOUSE

Arguably, the king of the port chop world is the Porterhouse cut.

Just like the beef Porterhouse, the Porterhouse Pork Chop has the bone in the center, a tenderloin side, and a larger loin side, plus some fat left on.

Though the most popular cut of pork these days is the boneless loin cut, this Porterhouse cut, to most pork fans, is the best! And in my opinion, the best (only) way to cook it is pan-searing in a cast-iron skillet.

If your chop is not too thick, maybe 1 inch or so, it can be fully cooked in the skillet without having to finish in the oven. Historically, most of the time I like a thick (2 inch) Porterhouse chop, pan-seared and basted, then finished in the oven. It’s just too thick to cook properly just in the skillet without incinerating the outside. Speaking of the outside, with this method you do want a good, brown crust…the key to pan-searing flavor goodness.

These cuts are hard to find just laying around in your meat section of the grocery store. If you are lucky enough to have a butcher nearby or your grocery store has an actual, live butcher on duty, you can have them cut one or two for you. Mind you, if the person minding the grocery butcher counter is a child (more often than not), he or she will not even know what a Porterhouse is. So, some explanation may be needed to get want you want. I actually found these chops in the grocery meat section…just laying there saying, “Don’t pass me up…I’m a rare find around these parts!”

This really needs fresh thyme and rosemary sprigs, so don’t try to substitute dry, you’ll see why when you read the cooking directions below. Fresh garlic, butter, and salt and pepper is about it. Also, F.Y.I., the National Pork Board recommends cooking pork chops, roasts, and tenderloin to an internal temperature of 145 degrees for medium rare, 160 for medium. Gone are the days when you had to torch pork to well done to be safe. Times have changed. Pink pork will not kill you! I like mine somewhere in between…150 degrees for medium. And, as always, let it rest for at least 5 minutes after cooking before slicing.

Youtube video link: https://youtu.be/8bmksWHlP08

Ingredients:

  • Two 8-ounce bone-in Porterhouse pork chops
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Avocado or canola oil
  • Unsalted butter, cold
  • 2 small sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, unpeeled, smashed

Directions:

  • Pat the chops dry. Brush lightly with oil to help the salt stick. Season with Kosher salt. Fresh cracked pepper will come later.
  • Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat and add about 1 tbsp of avocado or canola oil. When the oil is hot and shimmering, place the pork chops in the skillet and press down, use a grill press if you have one. This will help create that nice, brown crust on the surface. When the first side is browned, turn over the chops and turn down the heat to medium-low. Add another tbsp of oil to the skillet. Place a pat of cold butter on each chop, then a sprig of rosemary and a couple sprigs of thyme. As the butter melt, start basting the chops with a spoon, Carefully tilt the skillet to do the basting. Baste until the internal temperature is where you want it. I like 150 degrees for a nice medium. Remove from the skillet and rest on a cutting board covered loosely with foil.
  • After they have rested for 10 minutes, slice them like a Cote de Boeuf, ie, reassemble the slices. Place on a serving platter then pour over some pan juices. Add fresh cracked black pepper and Maldon salt (use Kosher if you don’t have this).
  • I like to serve these with sherries mushrooms and crispy oven-roasted potatoes.

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