A recipe for bone-in pork chops, brined for extra juiciness, then seasoned, seared and baked to perfection. Served with spicy papaya salsa.
Ever had a DRY pork chop? Ugh. Such a shame when a delectable cut of pork is treated poorly and turns out like shoe leather. Even a slight overcook and it can dry out and kill the meal. I used to think that was just how pork turned out. Dry, dry, dry. I would sauce it up like crazy but you can never escape that underlying BLAH once it's dried out.
No more! These bone-in pork chops are juicy. TOTALLY. It's all in the bone. And the brine. And the baking. You don't need to mess around with complicated preparation here. Add your pork chops to a salty seasoned water solution and let them sit. The salt helps to open the cell walls, allowing the water and other flavors to enter, making the meat juicy. This works for no-bone chops as well. Look at how these babies turned out. Dang.
After brining, it's as simple as adding some seasoning, a quick sear in a pan, then baking them in the oven until they are done. I used my Dutch oven for this recipe. Sear them in the pot then set the whole thing into the oven. It keeps the moisture all in one place. Be careful not to overbake or you'll dry them out. Such a NO-NO! You don't want dry pork chops!
I served these up with a quick chopped salsa. I recently posted a more processed version of this - Papaya Salsa. This incorporates all the same ingredients, but they are simply chopped and added as a topping in lieu of a sauce. Why? Because it's good stuff! I got my hands on a fresh papaya and some outstanding chili peppers and they begged to get into a salsa. So here we go. The chopped salsa looks so nice.
I hope you enjoy your baked pork chops!
Baked Pork Chops with Papaya Salsa
- 2 large pork chops (about ¾ inch thick each)
- Water – enough to cover the chops
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 5-6 torn basil leaves
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce – use your favorite! I used a bit of my Cilantro-Habanero Hot Sauce
- 1 tablespoon dry run seasonings – I used a Cajun blend
- FOR THE SALSA
- ½ papaya, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
- 1 serrano pepper, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- Juice from 1 lime
- In a large bowl, add water with salt, basil leaves, crushed garlic and hot sauce and whisk together. Submerge the pork chops and cover. Refrigerate and brine for 4 hours. This will make them very juicy!
- While the pork chops are brining, add all the salsa ingredients to a bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Remove pork chops and pat dry. Season with your dry seasoning blend.
- Heat an oven-save pan or pot (I used my awesome Dutch Oven!) to medium heat and add a bit of olive oil. Sear the pork on each side about 1 minute each, then transfer into the oven.
- Bake for 8 minutes, or until the pork chops are cooked through.
- Top with salsa and serve!