Pork Chops with Brown Butter and Gremolata

Serves 4

Time: 30 minutes

Prep: 15 minutes

Active time: 30 minutes

 

Ten extra minutes is all it takes to turn a “screw it, let’s just eat” dish and make it an event meal that works with more exotic wines like this month’s Domaine Saint-Lannes Gros Manseng or last month’s Domaines Astruc Viognier.

 

 

4 bone-in pork loin chops, cut about 1” thick

1 tsp sweet paprika

Salt and white pepper to taste

 

 

1 bunch flat-leaf parsley

1 small shallot

½ preserved lemon or zest of 1 lemon

 

4 tbsp butter

 

Preheat the oven to as hot as it’ll go, at least 450º.

 

Season the pork chops generously on both sides with the paprika, salt and white pepper. Set aside at room temperature for at least 20 minutes while you prepare the rest of the dish.

 

Mince parsley, shallot, and preserved lemon if using, together. It’s a lot, and you can use a food processor if you must, but hand chopping will taste better. If using lemon zest, add after mincing, mix thoroughly, and set aside in the refrigerator.

 

Heat a small stainless skillet over medium heat. Add butter, swirling until the foam subsides, it smells deeply nutty, and small brown solids start to precipitate out. Turn heat as low as it’ll go.

 

Heat a cast iron or other sturdy skillets over high heat until just smoking. Add pork chops, working in two skillets or in batches if necessary so that the chops aren’t crowded at all (at least an inch between the chops), and let cook undisturbed for  three minutes. Flip the chops and put the skillet(s) in the oven for three minutes or until the chops read 140º on an instant read thermometer (a really good one like a Thermapen will make this much easier and tastier).

 

Plate chops, topping first with the brown butter then the gremolata. Serve with saffron rice.