These brined Pork Chops with Cranberry Pear Sauce are tender, juicy, and crazy good. The Cranberry Pear Sauce really takes these to the next level, and it only takes 15 minutes to make. It looks fancy, but I assure you it’s not. Dinner, simple as usual.
Most of our dinners are the quick and simple variety, mostly by necessity. I read food magazines, blogs, and cookbooks like they’re novels though and I dream of making extravagant dinners (like Bocconcini Stuffed Meatballs with Tomato Sauce – oh my). But the reality is that even on the weekends, I’m making dinner with a toddler quite literally hanging on to my legs.
Still, I don’t want every dinner to be some version of a fast pass pasta dish. Sometimes I just want dinner to feel, well, nice. That’s when I pull out the pork chops.
These particular pork chops were elevated to “nice dinner” status by the most incredible pears. I got a box of pears, Concord, Bosch, and Red D’Anjou, from the new Stemilt fruit delivery service last week.
This isn’t a sponsored post, and I wasn’t incentivized to say this, but – Dead serious, totally mean it, cross my heart: These Are The Best Pears I’ve Ever Had. Crisp, but juicy, sweet, but with distinct flavors. And they are gorgeous to look at:
We ate four within minutes of the box arriving on the doorstep. We couldn’t help ourselves. We only stopped at four because I knew that the pears, perfect pears sent directly from heaven above (or Stemilt, if you want to get technical), would pair perfectly (I couldn’t help myself, sorry) with pork chops.
They are also my new secret weapon for getting dinner made just a little bit easier. I have this adorable 18 month old that always becomes very needy at just the moment I need to put something in the oven. For these Pork Chops with Cranberry Pear Sauce, however, I was able to work mostly unencumbered. The secret toddler antidote: A perfect, ripe, Red D’Anjou Pear. It kept him satisfyingly busy for a good 30 minutes, which is exactly how long it took me to get this dinner ready.
Now let’s talk chops. There is a secret to tender, juicy pork chops, and it’s really quite simple. After many hit or miss pork chops, I discovered the kitchn’s easy method for consistently good pork chops. Per their instructions, I brine the bone-in chops ahead of time, brown them on the stove top, then finish them off in the oven. Simple and effective every single time.
The Pear and Cranberry Sauce is the perfect seasonal accompaniment to a juicy pork chop. Use good pears, Stemilt if you can get them, and fresh cranberries. The sauce, with a bit of fresh ginger and rosemary, takes only a few minutes in the skillet and tastes downright amazing. It’s pretty too, which equals good dinner points.
I served dinner with roasted Brussels sprouts because they are the vegetable that everyone in this family can always agree on. Broccoli would probably be good too – this roasted broccoli is our favorite.
- 4 pork chops, center cut, bone-in, about 1 inch thick and 1 lb each
- 2 concord pears, ripe but firm, diced
- ¾ cup fresh cranberries
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 cup chicken broth
- ½ teaspoon fresh minced rosemary
- black pepper for serving
- Plan ahead for the brine - at least 30 minutes. Follow the cooking instructions for the pork chops and brine (with black pepper corns) at: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-cook-perfect-pork-chops-in-the-oven-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-194257
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the pear and ginger and cranberries and stir gently to combine. Cook for one minute, then add the chicken stock and honey. Bring to a rolling boil. Boil rapidly until the liquid reduces by about half - about 5 to 6 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the rosemary.
- Serve the prepared chops with sauce on the side. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.
I received a complimentary box of fruit from Stemilt. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions are entirely my own. I am a huge fan of the quality fruit from Stemilt.