Brown Butter Pork Chop with Peaches
Mess Level: Low
Yield: 2 Servings
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 15 min
- 2 Pork Chops, Preferably Bone-In
- 2 Ripe Peaches
- 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
- 2 Sprigs Fresh Basil
- 2 Sprigs Fresh Mint
- Coarse Kosher Salt to Taste
- Fresh Ground Pepper to Taste
- Flake Salt for Garnish (optional)
- Oil for Searing
For the Brine:
- 4 Tablespoons Salt
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 Clove garlic
- 5 Peppercorns
- 5 Allspice Berries
- 3 Cups Cold Water
- 1 Cup Hot Water
Note: The brine is optional but recommended and will add to your prep time. If you wish to cook both pork chops at once you will need a pan large enough that you do not crowd them.
- To make the brine, set aside the three cups of cold water. Combine the remaining ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved then shut off the heat and pour the hot mixture into the 3 cups of cold water. Check to make sure it is cool and then pour it over the pork chops making sure they are completely submerged. Cover, and transfer to the fridge. For bone-in, brine for at least an hour and up to 8 hours. For boneless, brine for at least 15 minutes and up to 45 minutes. Rinse the brine from the meat and pat it dry.
- Pit and slice the peach, you may leave the peel on. Chiffonade the basil and mint, set aside. Smash the garlic cloves and set them aside with the thyme and butter. No need to peel the garlic. Season the pork chops on all sides with salt and pepper.
- Heat a large saute pan to medium-high heat. Add enough oil to lightly coat the bottom and heat till it shimmers, about 30 seconds more. Place the pork chops on the pan and allow to sear, undisturbed for 2-3 minutes or until the pork comes cleanly off the pan and is nicely browned. Flip and repeat. Adjust the heat as needed.
- Use an instant-read thermometer and cook the pork, flipping as needed until an internal temperature of 135F is reached. Immediately add the butter, the garlic, and the thyme to the pan.
- Tip the pan so that as the butter melts it pools to the front. Scoot the pork chops to the back of the pan and then use a spoon to scoop up the melted butter and pour it over the pork chops. Repeat this basting process for a few minutes until the pork and the butter are golden brown and the pork reads 145F Internally.
- Remove the pork chops and allow them to rest. Immediately, scatter the sliced peaches into the browned butter in the pan. Sear for about a minute on each side, just until the peaches are lightly browned. Shut off the heat and immediately pour the peaches and the browned butter into a bowl so they do not burn.
- Discard the thyme stem and garlic. Pile the peaches on top of the pork chop and spoon browned butter over it all. Garnish with mint, basil, and flake salt. Serve immediately.
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- Gluten Free: Yes! This dish is naturally gluten free.
- Dairy Free: To make this dairy-free, you can baste with a few tablespoons of a high-smoke point oil such as grapeseed or canola instead of butter. I wouldn’t spoon that oil over the finished dish though. Consider a drizzle of good olive oil instead.
Meal Prep: Follow these steps if you want to prep ahead of time:
- Complete this recipe through step 1, pit, and slice your peaches and store in an airtight container in the fridge. You may do this up to a few days ahead of time. When ready to cook this recipe, complete steps 2-7.
What is the purpose of brining?
- The salt solution penetrates the meat on a cellular level. It will add flavor and make your meat more tender.
My pork is always tough!
- Getting a good instant-read thermometer and temping in multiple places is the best way to ensure you don’t have tough pork. If you cook it past 145F it will begin to get tough. Brining can also help with this but cannot save it if you’ve overcooked it.
Can I make this with different fruit?
- Absolutely, keep it seasonal! Pears, apples, plums, nectarines, cherries, etc will all work beautifully. You can change out the herbs to compliment the fruit as well.
Ramblings of a Line Cook
Hot damn, this is it. The harmony of an in-season peach and a bite of pork glistening with flecks of browned butter just calls me home. Who fucking knew? Pork and peaches. Peaches and pork. It’s everything I want it to be.
I’ve recently had my head and tongue turned by Jodar Farms, a business in Northern Colorado that offers pork, lamb, and eggs. I splurged on a pork chop from them once and since then, the dull-grey of grocery store meat has tasted like the runoff from a watery graveyard that I don’t particularly wish to wade through.
I’m honestly, happy to be ruined in this way. The corporate meat industry is a horrible thing and the fact that we’ve accustomed our tastebuds to allow the injection of a saltwater solution into meat to mask the absolute beige of an industry that doesn’t give a shit about what goes into an animal or a human does make one shudder if thought about.
And then there are the Colorado peaches. A meager harvest this year thanks to an early frost in 2019, the largest fire in Colorado history this summer and to top it off, a pandemic. All served up with a free side of murky smoke delivered right to your door and orchards, under the glow of an apocalyptically red sun. Cheery.
But we’re all muddling through. And the best we can do is support the farmers, each other, and the industries we want to make it through this. Today, for me, that means serving up a bit of local pork and peaches. See you on the other side.