Looking to make a quick but tasty dinner with the meat tender and juicy on the inside but crispy on the outside? Something lean, but other than even the best chicken breasts for a change? Here is one of my most favorite dishes that gives you just that: mouth-wateringly-delicious, crusty pan-fried pork chops with healthy veggies pan seared over high heat. All done and ready to eat in less than 25 minutes.
No need to say it, but pork chops come from pork loin, the least fatty cut that is very easy to overcook and over-dry, just like chicken breast. To make sure that doesn’t happen, I always cook pork chops to the minimum safe temperature of 145F. Get it to 155F – 165F and it will be too dry and bland.
This recipe uses part rendered bacon fat and part vegetable oil for frying pork chops. Bacon fat adds flavor. If you don’t care about that extra flavor, only using vegetable oil is fine too.
To get a beautiful, thick crust on my pan-fried pork chops are I do two things. Firstly, I use a little bit of thick Dijon mustard to help the spices adhere to the meat. Dijon will also create a moister surface that will help more flour to stick to the meat. Secondly, is I double dredge the chops in the flour to make sure I get more flour on the surface and better adherence. More flour – better crust.
The pan seared veggies are a big part of this dish. I grew up having pork chops served with mashed potatoes. Tasty, but very heavy. Veggies are a better choice. They are a quicker to cook, they are much healthier, and they look much better on the plate. I pan sear the veggies covered. The steam forming under the lid helps cook them much quicker. this allows you to cook the vegetables until it’s tender, without it becoming mushy. Yet, they still have nice sear marks and a fantastic flavor.
- 4 bone-in pork chops (pick thicker chops, about 1-inch thick are the best)
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp granulated garlic
- 1 tsp granulated onion
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper (plus more to taste)
- 4 bacon strips
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups Brussels sprouts, rinsed and halved
- 8-10 sweet mini bell peppers, rinsed, whole
- ½ red onion, sliced about ⅜" thick
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- In a small bowl, combine granulated garlic, onion, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper.
- Pat dry pork chops with a paper towel. Now, using your hands, rub Dijon mustard all over the pork chops.
- Sprinkle the spice mix and evenly rub into the chops on each side. Finally, dredge in flour really well on both sides and set aside.
- Preheat a large, about 12-13-inch, heavy (cast iron is the best) frying pan over medium-high heat.
- Fry the bacon strips, on both sides, until nicely crisp. Remove bacon and place on a plate lined with a paper towel.
- Add vegetable oil to the frying pan. Let the oil warm up to cooking temperature, about 325F.
- Dredge each pork chop in flour again, making sure each side is covered really well. Place in the frying pan and cook over medium heat about 4-5 minutes per side, until deep golden brown and the internal temperature of the pork reached 145F. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the pork chops you are using.
- Remove pork chops, place on a platter and cover with foil and set aside.
- Place Brussels sprouts, red onions, garlic and sweet mini bell peppers to the same pan, adding more vegetable oil if needed. Better yet, add grapeseed oil or other oil that has high smoking point. Sprinkled a little bit of kosher salt and black pepper. Cover and cook over medium-high to high heat for about 2 minutes. This will put a nice sear on one side of the veggies. Cooking covered will tenderize them too. Remove the lid, flip the veggies on the other side, cover and continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and cooked enough for your taste.
- Transfer the vegetables to the platter with pork chops. Crumble bacon strip into bits and sprinkle over the vegetables.
- Serve immediately.
How To Pan-Sear Any Vegetable for a Quick Weeknight Side Dish