Peaches and pork are a juicy and flavorful combination. I return to this Dijon mustard and peach potion again and again—I keep it ready-made in the refrigerator to work its magic with pork tenderloin, turkey cutlets, and chicken.
For this recipe, I brine the pork chops and elevate a few pantry ingredients from basic to brilliant. Whisk sweet peach preserves, pungent Dijon mustard, rosemary, and sage for a bright, herbaceous, sweet, and tangy sauce that is spread over the pork chops. A grill pan or a skillet is all you need for this simple Southern-inspired supper.
What Cut of Pork Should I Buy?
For this recipe, get bone-in center-cut rib pork chops because they are less likely to dry out. Don’t be tempted by boneless chops!
All pork chops come from the loin, which runs along both sides of the backbone from the neck to the hip. You can find the following cuts at the grocery store, listed in order from neck to hip:
- Rib chops are tender, flavorful, and a great choice for pan-searing and grilling—it’s the cut I recommend for this recipe.
- The cut closest to the neck is known as the blade. It is generally tough and best for braising.
- Loin chops are bisected by a bone shaped like a T. The larger muscle on one side of the bone is the loin, and the smaller muscle on the other side is the tenderloin. They have great flavor, but since the loin and tenderloin cook at different rates, they can be a little tricky to cook evenly.
- Sirloin chops are nearest the hip, and they should be cooked low and slow. They are not a good cut for pan searing or grilling.
Brine the Pork Chops
Pork chops are lean and prone to drying out. To help prevent this, brine them before cooking. Brining—soaking the meat in a saltwater mixture—is the key to juicy, tender meat. It’s often used for white meats, which are more prone to drying out, such as pork, turkey, and chicken.
The salt in the brine helps the pork absorb the brining liquid. Pork chops lose moisture during cooking, but since brined meat has a more liquid, it cooks up juicier at the end.
The saltier the brining solution and the smaller the piece of meat, the shorter the brining period. This recipe calls for a strong brine, so the pork chops soak for only 30 minutes.
The size of the salt grains used in a brine is important. Table salt is very fine and kosher salt has larger grains. This recipe calls for Diamond Crystal kosher salt. If using table salt, use 2 tablespoons. If using Morton kosher salt, use 3 tablespoons. Whatever salt you use, take the chops out of the brine after 30 minutes or they will be too salty.
Best Way to Cook Pork Chops
Sear the pork chops on the stovetop and then, transfer them to the oven to finish cooking. You can also cook the pork on the grill. Brush the pork with the sauce when it’s almost cooked through; otherwise, the sauce will burn.
Flavor Variations I Love
There are endless ways to add different flavors. Here are a few ideas:
- Want to give the sauce some pep? Add freshly grated ginger or garlic.
- Toss a sliced jalapeño into the pan with the pork chops. It will flavor both the oil for the chops and the sauce, giving the dish a kick of heat.
- Instead of rosemary and sage, use a combination of basil and parsley.
- Add 2 tablespoons of diced fresh peaches to the sauce.
- Tack on a savory side dish by adding 2 sliced peaches and 1 thinly sliced sweet onion into the pan before you pop it into the oven.
How to Serve Leftovers, If Any!
Pork chops are best served immediately since they don’t reheat very well. If you have leftovers, transform it into a bánh mì-inspired sandwich with sliced leftover pork chops, shredded carrots and daikon tossed with a splash of rice vinegar, sliced jalapeños, and a handful of fresh mint leaves and cilantro.
You could also griddle the sliced pork sandwiched with ham, Swiss cheese, and pickles, for a quick Cuban sandwich.
More Savory Peach Recipes
Peach Dijon Pork Chops
I use 1/4 cup Diamond Crystal kosher salt in the brine. Instead, you can use 2 tablespoons table salt or 3 tablespoons Morton kosher salt.
1/4 cup Diamond Crystal kosher salt (see recipe note)
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, tightly packed
2 cups boiling water
3 cups ice cubes
4 center-cut, bone-in rib pork chops (about 1 inch thick)
1/2 cup chunky peach preserves
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Nonstick cooking spray
Make the brine:
In a large heatproof bowl, combine the salt and brown sugar. Add the 2 cups of boiling water and stir to dissolve. Add the ice cubes and stir to cool.
Brine the pork chops:
Submerge the pork chops in the brine, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and brine for about 30 minutes. Do not brine any longer or the pork chops will be too salty.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Meanwhile, make the sauce:
In a small bowl, stir together the peach preserve, Dijon, rosemary, and sage. Set it aside.
Clean and season the pork chops:
Remove the pork chops from the brine, rinse well under cold running water, and thoroughly pat them dry with paper towels. Discard the brine. Season the pork chops with the black pepper.
Cook the pork chops:
Lightly spray a large oven-proof grill pan or skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Set it over high heat. Add the pork chops without crowding the pan. You may need to cook them in batches if the pan isn’t big enough. Sear for about 2 minutes, until bottoms are golden brown, then flip them. Immediately spread the sauce on top of each pork chop.
Transfer the pan into the oven. Roast the chops until cooked through and an instant read thermometer inserted into the center registers 140°F to 145°F, 8 to 10 minutes.
Let rest for 1 to 2 minutes to let the juices redistribute and serve. Bon appétit, y’all!
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|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 5g||7%|
|Saturated Fat 1g||7%|
|Total Carbohydrate 63g||23%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||7%|
|Total Sugars 53g|
|Vitamin C 4mg||19%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|