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Easy Pan-seared Pork Chops with a mouth-watering Apricot-Dijon Mustard Sauce are tender, meaty, sweet, and savoury; just perfect!
These pork chops are the perfect weeknight dinner, but they’re nice enough for any special occasion.
The apricot-Dijon sauce is the star of this dish. This flavourful sauce is sweet, savoury, and a bit sour, and you can also use it for chicken, salmon, sausages and meat. This sauce gives the pork just the right amount of sweetness without cloying and is made in no time.
To complete the meal, I suggest serving the pork with any side dish where you can pour on some of this delicious apricot-Dijon sauce.
Here are some options:
- Rice, orzo, or couscous
- Green beans or broccoli
- Mashed or roasted potatoes
- Mediterranean Vegetables
- Blend-and-Bake Carrot Soufflé
- Vegetable Casserole Delight
- Creamy Spinach Soufflé
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- 6 tbsp Apricot preserve
- 5 tbsp Apple-cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp Whole-grain mustard
- 1 tbsp Dijon
- Sage - optional to taste
- Green onion
- 60 g Dried apricots
- 50 g Almonds - Sliced
- Green onion or chives
- Cut the apricots into bite-size pieces.
- Thinly slice the green onions.
- Finely chop the parsley leaves and stems.
Toast the almonds
- Heat a medium, dry pan on medium.
- Add the almonds and toast, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, until lightly browned and fragrant.
- Transfer immediately to a bowl.
Cook the pork
- In the same pan, heat a drizzle of oil on medium-high.
- Pat the pork chops dry with a paper towel; season with your favourite spices and herbs, salt and pepper.
- Add the pork chops to the pan and cook, 3 to 5 minutes per side, until nicely browned and cooked through. Using a kitchen thermometer, confirm that the meat is at 63°C/145°F.
- Remove chops to a plate and cover with aluminum foil to rest while making the apricot-Dijon sauce.
- Leave any browned bits in the pan.
Make the apricot-Dijon glaze
- In the same pan you've cooked the pork chops, add Apple-cider vinegar, and stir to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Add the white bottom of the green onion and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until fragrant.
- Then add the apricot preserves, Whole-grain mustard, Dijon, ½ the chopped apricots, chopped sage and 1/2 cup water, and whisk until smooth and velvety.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook, scraping any fond from the bottom of the pan, 2 to 3 minutes, until thickened.
Garnish and serve
- Add the pork (slice beforehand if desired) and any juices to the plate.
- Spoon as much of the apricot-Dijon glaze as you’d like over the pork.
- Add toasted almonds to provide crunch.
- Garnish with chopped apricots, parsley, and green onion.
Is it best to use boneless or bone-in Pork Chops?It depends. If you’re cooking your chops in a skillet, I always recommend sourcing boneless pork chops. They brown evenly and take up less space. However, if you’re grilling your pork chops over embers or an open flame, you should go with bone-in. There’s lots of flavour in the bone, and it keeps the chops in one piece and juicy.
How do you know when Pork Chops are done?Always Cook Pork Chops to 63°C/145°F. The best and easiest way is to use a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the pork chop to check the temperature. Health Canada recommends cooking pork to a minimum internal temperature of 71°C/160°F, leaving them free from any potentially harmful bacteria and pretty dry and tough. The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has determined that it is just as safe to cook pork to 63°C/145°F with a 3-minute rest time to cook it to 71°C/160°F with no rest time. In my opinion, 63°C/145°F is the sweet spot of doneness and tender, juicy perfection. But remember to also include a 3-5-minute rest before serving, where some carryover cooking will occur. My secret is to pan-sear the first side for 3-5 minutes and cook the other side for 3-5 minutes. Take the temperature, and your thermometer should read around 63°C/145°F. Then remove your pork chops immediately from the burner and leave it in the pan for at least 3 minutes; they will keep cooking while they rest. When sliced, the interior of your pork chops should be mostly beige with pale pink in the center and plenty of moisture still inside.
Always let it restIf you want them juicy, let the pork chops rest after cooking is a must.
Resting means letting your pork chops (or any meat) sit for a few minutes after removing them from the grill, oven, or wherever you cook them. When you cook a piece of meat, the juices race toward the center, away from the heat source. If you cut into it immediately, those juices spill all over the place. By giving the meat a few minutes to rest, the juices will be reabsorbed, ensuring that each bite is as juicy as possible. For pork chops, resting for 3 minutes should be plenty.
Avoid Thin-Sliced Pork ChopsPork chops that are too thin are highly prone to overcooking. So, make sure you choose pork chops at least 2.5-3.8cm/1-1.5” thick.
Always cook at room temperatureBecause pork chops are relatively lean, they will easily overcook if they spend too much time in a hot pan, oven, or grill. Pork chops shouldn't be ice cold when they hit the pan or grill. When the interior temperature reaches the desired 145 degrees Fahrenheit, the outer crust will be much hotter (and drier). The solution is to take your pork chops out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you plan to cook them, so they can sit and come to room temperature. Use that time to season or marinate the meat.
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Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.Share on Facebook
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