Glazed Pork Chops
adapted from The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, Heavy-Duty Revised Edition
4 boneless center-cut pork chops, 1/2 inch to 3/4 inches thick (this is important!!)
Table salt and ground pepper, as desired
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup apple cider or apple juice (cider tastes more flavorful)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1. Combine cider vinegar, brown sugar, apple cider/juice, Dijon mustard, and soy sauce in a medium bowl; mix thoroughly and set aside. Trim chops as needed to excess fat and slash through fat and silver skin with a sharp knife, making 2 cuts about 2 inches apart in each chop (do not cut into meat of chop!). Pat chops dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper as desired.
2. Heat oil in heavy-bottomed 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until smoking. Add pork to skillet and cook until well browned, 4-6 minutes. Turn chops and cook 1 minute longer, transfer chops to plate and pour off any oil in skillet. Check internal temp or thinner chops. (If they are already at the 140-degree mark, remove them from the skillet and allow them to rest, tented with foil for 5 minutes, then add the platter juices and glaze ingredients to the skillet and proceed with step 3.) Return chops to skillet, browned side up, and add glaze mixture; cook over medium heat until center of chops registers 140 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 5-8 minutes. Remove skillet from heat, transfer chops to clean platter, tent with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes.
Glaze is almost done - see the trail the spatula leaves...
3. When chops have rested, add any accumulated juices to skillet and set over medium heat. Simmer, whisking constantly, until glaze is thick and the color of dark caramel. Depending on your skillet, this may take a few minutes - anywhere from 2-8 minutes. A heatproof spatula should leave a wide trail through dragged through the glaze when it's done. Return chops to skillet, turn to coat both sides with glaze. Serve immediately.
NOTE: We like to put the extra glaze both on top of the chops and on top of some fresh mashed potatoes. Mmm, mmm, good, I promise!