How to cook juicy, thick-cut pork chops in the oven. Featuring oven-baked smothered pork loin chops with brie, bacon, and spiced apples.
Of all the pork chops in the world, thick-cut, bone-in is my all time fav, and I'll eat that hunky slice of loin just any which way you serve it to me...but preferably, smother it with brie, some spiced apples and a little bacon, please.
However, before we get to the smothering, first let's talk how to cook the perfect thick-cut chop.
HOW TO COOK JUICY, THICK-CUT PORK CHOPS IN THE OVEN
You don't need to go to a restaurant to get a perfectly cooked, thick-cut chop. In fact, I'd say you're chances of getting one cooked just right are actually better in your very own kitchen. Just follow these steps, and in no-time, you'll be slamming out the best pork chops you've ever tasted.
PREPARE THE PORK CHOPS
To prepare the pork chops for cooking, pat them dry of any excess moisture by dabbing them with a paper towel. This will help the oil to stick, which will, in turn, help the seasoning stick to the pork chop.
Once the pork chops are patted dry, drizzle them with oil (preferably canola oil), and season them. Rub the seasoning and the oil evenly all over both sides of the chops.
SEAR THE PORK CHOPS
Thick-cut chops should begin on the stovetop in an oven-safe pan, not only to speed up the cooking process but to help develop flavor. If you're at all familiar with the Maillard reaction, you know that browned meat equals flavorful meat. Therefore, we sear.
Canola oil on both the chop itself and a light coating of it in the pan will help the chops to sear nicely, and also keep them from burning.
FINISH COOKING THICK-CUT PORK CHOPS IN THE OVEN
Quickly searing the chops in the pan gave us a headstart in the cooking process, however, the chops would likely be blackened on the outside before they were finished on the inside if we were to cook them on the stovetop alone.
Moving them from the stovetop to the oven gives us more stability when it comes to temperature control, allows for even cooking, and the end result is a perfectly juicy pork chop.
SMOTHERED THICK-CUT PORK CHOPS
Now that we know how to cook the pork chops, we can get to the good stuff -- the topping. This topping was inspired by the classic combination of pork chops and spiced apples, but this one has a twist.
This recipe came about shortly after I fell in love with one my newer additions to TAK: Baked Brie with Apples and Walnuts. A completely drool-worthy starter that is sugar, spice, and e-ver-y-thing nice.
Apples and brie just seemed to work so seamlessly together, as do apples and pork chops. Throw in a little bacon, and I'd say we've got ourselves a full-blown party. To turn your perfectly cooked, juicy pork chop into a smothered chop, simply top it off before it goes into the oven to finish cooking and you're all set.
Take a common ingredient like the beloved pork loin chop, top it with brie, apples, and bacon, and you've taken something ordinary and turned it into something really very special the whole family will love.
These chops are quick-cooking, easy to make, perfectly delicious, and a total dinnertime game changer. Please, enjoy.
A recipe for bone-in, center rib pork chops smothered in brie, apples, and bacon.
- 8 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
- 4 thick-cut (about 1"- 1 ¼" thick) bone-in, center rib chops
- 2 ½ teaspoons TAK House Seasoning
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 tart, crisp red apples, peeled and thinly sliced such as Jazz, Honey Crisp, or Pink Lady
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- Pinch Kosher salt
- Pinch ground allspice
- 4 ounces brie, rind removed and cut into small cubes
Preheat the oven to 375° and have ready a large rimmed baking sheet.
Add the bacon to a cast iron skillet or a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Sauté until crispy, 6-8 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with a paper towel, and remove the skillet from the heat. Set bacon aside until ready to use.
Spoon all but a thin layer of bacon grease from the pan, and set aside until ready to use.
Pat the excess moisture away from the pork chops using a paper towel. Drizzle chops evenly with canola oil, and sprinkle with TAK House Seasoning. Rub to evenly disperse across the pork chops on both sides.
Return the pan to medium-high heat and allow the bacon grease to come to temperature. Without overcrowding the pan and searing in batches if necessary, sear the pork chops 2 minutes on each side. Transfer pork chops to the rimmed baking sheet.
Add the apples to pan and sauté about 3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the brown sugar, sage, ginger, salt and allspice, and stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes more, until the sugar thickly coats the apples and they have completely softened.
Disperse half of the cooked apples across each pork chop, top with brie, bacon, and finally, the remaining apples.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the center of the chop reaches an internal temperature of 150°. Remove from the oven, and allow to rest 10 minutes. Seve and enjoy.
Brie is much easier to cut when very cold. Put it in the freezer about 15 minutes before you begin the cooking process to make removing the rind and cutting into cubes easier.