Pan-Glazed Pork Chops: A Breakdown of Deliciousness

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post in any form.

Before moving to Maine and venturing out "on my own" 3000+ miles from home, I'd never really cooked. I mean actual cooking. Not microwaving a premade dinner or "making" macaroni and cheese. Actual, from-scratch cooking. Everything had previously been store-bought processed foods, meals made by other people, or "meals" like Hamburger Helper.

Next step: The Everything Goes Into The Oven stage. Chicken, potatoes, roasted veggies, and processed boxed dinners for the oven, to name a few. This included pork chops and steak, too, which never turned out as I'd hoped. Oven-baked non-poultry/fish meats tend to come out too dry and tough for my palette, even when coated with the almighty Shake 'n Bake.

Enter: My first (and definitely not last) experience with pan-frying pork chops! I'd always been afraid that they wouldn't cook through and I'd end up with some parasitic disease as a result. Let me tell you, invest in a meat thermometer. It eases food anxieties away!

Annnnyway, here's my step-by-step breakdown of 

How To Successfully Make Pan-Glazed Pork Chops 
with White Wine and Caramelized Onions

What You'll Need:

  • Heavy NON nonstick pan
  • Raw pork chops
  • Oil 
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • Small amount of Sherry/broth/water
  • Marinade (optional)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

1. Pick out pork chops. Any will do, but I prefer the thicker, center-cut chops. Butterfly chops work well, also. Make sure your meat is thawed, not frozen, when getting ready to cook.

2. In a heavy non-nonstick pan (nonstick will work, but it won't give you that slightly crispy caramelized glaze) heat oil over medium-high heat. I used about 2 Tbs of Blue Bonnet margarine, as it has an oil base that has a higher smoke point. You can also use butter or cooking oil.

3. Add chops gently to the pan. Be careful, that oil is hot! Cook on one side for about 3-5 minutes, or until the edges of the chops slightly curl. Don't try to turn them too early or you'll end up with part of your chops stuck to the pan!

4. Add your sliced onions and flip pork chops to the other side. Cook the chops until the edges curl up like before. If you have a meat thermometer, which I highly recommend, make sure the internal temp reaches 145 degrees F.

5. When cooked (min 145 F internal temp), take the chops out of the pan and set aside.

6. Add enough Sherry/broth/water to just cover the bottom of the pan and bring to a slow boil. This is called deglazing the pan. Be sure to scrape-up any browned spots on the pan and incorporate them into the liquid. You're basically making your glaze right now by reducing the liquid to a sauce.

7. When most of the water is boiled off, add the chops back to the pan and flip to coat in the glaze.

Pat yourself on the back, they look GREAT!

Voila! Once you've coated your chops, keep them in-pan until heated through again and serve. These came out SO MOIST and tender.

I loosely followed these step-by-step directions on how to cook pork chops on the stovetop. Note: I did not use the rosemary recipe described in the tutorial. I lightly marinated my chops in Allegro's Original Marinade, which is soy sauce-based. Yum! I had won a 6-pack of these marinades last year, and am slowly using them up. This one really truly is a gem, it's great on everything!

Allegro's Original Marinade
You can purchase this and other flavors in 2-packs online for under $9
I hope that this tutorial will open your eyes to the wonders of pan-cooking meats, if you haven't done so before. Don't be scared, just dive right in!