For a quick supper, you can’t beat pork chops. They are succulent and hearty, take little time to prepare, and fit the bill for a chilly weeknight meal.
Top them with an easy pan sauce, sprinkle with pomegranate seeds, and you have a no-fuss dish worthy to serve to company.
Thick, bone-in pork chops have a lot of flavor and won't dry out as much during cooking as boneless chops. Once they are seared and cooked, transfer them to a plate and keep them warm with a loose covering of foil while you make the sauce.
Add some shallots to the hot pan and scrape the bottom to help release the tasty brown bits that have collected. Add the pomegranate juice and thyme, and simmer until the juice reduces by about one-third (you can eyeball this).
For a velvety smooth finish, use a French trick: Take the pan off the heat and whisk in some cold butter to form a smooth emulsion.
As for the pomegranate seeds (arils) to garnish, either buy them already prepared or use this method to separate the arils from the fruit.
My own personal favorite way to extract the seeds is very uncomplicated: halve the pomegranate across the equator. Hold one half, seed side down over a bowl. Then bash it firmly all around with a heavy wooden spoon to release the seeds into the bowl.
Pork Chops with Pomegranate Glaze
- 4 bone-in center cut pork chops, about 1-inch thick
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
- 1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1 tablespoon cold, unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley (for garnish)
- Seeds from 1 pomegranate (for garnish)
Generously sprinkle the pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper
Sear the chops:
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the pork chops to the pan and cook for 3 to 5 minutes on a side, or until they are golden brown on both sides and a thermometer inserted into the center of a chop registers 145°F.
Transfer to a plate and cover loosely with foil to keep the chops warm while you make the glaze.
Make the glaze:
Pour off and discard all but a thin layer of oil from the pan and return the pan to the heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, for 45 seconds. Scrape up any browned bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan.
Add the pomegranate juice, honey, vinegar and thyme. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until thickened slightly. Take the pan off the heat. Remove the thyme sprigs and whisk in the butter.
Transfer chops to a serving platter or individual plates. Spoon the glaze over top and sprinkle with parsley and pomegranate seeds.