Braised Pork Chops with Peach and Basil

For the fuzzy friends.

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September 15, 2020

Prep: 15min

Cook: 1h 20min

Serves: 2

The gist.

Time to practice your searing, pan-frying, braising, and broiling skills all with one single pan. In this recipe you will bring together savory pork, sweet peaches, peppery basil, and a punchy sauce. This one is a do-it-soon-because-peach-season-is-almost-over sort of dish.

Here we are, more or less nearing the end of peach season. This one is a tribute to our fuzzy friends. To start, spin up the song “Peaches” by the 90s grunge-rock band The Presidents of the United States of America. Put that track on infinite repeat. As soon as you hear the first few guitar strums, verify the volume is at rock level, and take your rightful place in the kitchen. You are now absolutely ready.

What you are about to cook has four primary components. Savory pork, sweet peaches, peppery basil, and an energetic sauce. The pork/peach/basil combination is plastered all over the internet. I decided to take this trio and create a punchy sauce that would be tamed by the thick sweetness of the peaches. The power of the sauce comes from a blend of a few intense ingredients - shallots, ginger, garlic, strong mustard, and horseradish. Exciting, amirite??

Technically I think you could call this one a one-pot wonder. Everything (the searing, the pan-frying, the braising, the broiling) happened in my prized 12-inch cast iron skillet. How much do I love my cast iron skillet, you might ask? Enough to hand-wrap it in paper towels and bubble-wrap and move it across the Atlantic not once, but twice. Shout out to you, cast iron skillet. With that said, all you really need is an oven-proof pan with a lid. The choice is yours.

When searing the pork, inactivity is key. The recipe says to sear for three minutes per side. That means laying the pork chops in the hot skillet at timer reading 0:00 and not moving them at all until about three minutes later.

When it comes time to braise, refrain from adding the peaches to the pan unless you want fall-apart, cobbler-like peaches. Wait until the braising period is over to add the peaches. The quick broil at the end will heat the peaches and ideally result in a few caramelized edges. Seal the deal by topping the whole dish with freshly chopped basil leaves.

As a serving suggestion, I recommend a side of quinoa. Spoon some of the extra sauce from the pan onto the quinoa and complete the whole thing with a few grinds of black pepper. Enjoy.

Ingredients

Steps

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Braised Pork Chops with Peach and Basil

  • Prep time: 15min
  • Cook time: 1h 20min
  • Serving size: 2
Time to practice your searing, pan-frying, braising, and broiling skills all with one single pan. In this recipe you will bring together savory pork, sweet peaches, peppery basil, and a punchy sauce. This one is a do-it-soon-because-peach-season-is-almost-over sort of dish.

INGREDIENTS

  • 500 g (1 lb) bone-in pork chops
  • 30 mL (2 Tbsp) neutral oil
  • 2 medium shallots, minced
  • 1 Tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 30 mL (2 Tbsp) apple cider vinegar
  • 26 g (2 Tbsp) brown sugar
  • 1 tsp brown or whole grain mustard
  • 1/2 tsp prepared horseradish or cream style horseradish
  • 160 mL (2/3 cup) dry white wine
  • 7 g (1 Tbsp) cornstarch
  • 15 mL (1 Tbsp) water
  • 3 large peaches, 6 mm (1/4 in) slices
  • 10 g (1/2 cup) basil, chopped

STEPS

  1. Begin by preparing the sauce. Combine garlic, cider vinegar, brown sugar, mustard, horseradish sauce, and wine in a small bowl. Whisk until combined.

  2. Heat a large oven-proof skillet (preferably cast-iron) over high heat. Add 1 Tbsp oil.

  3. Sear pork chops about 3 minutes per side. Remove pork from skillet and set aside.

  4. Decrease heat to medium-high and add remaining 1 Tbsp oil. Cook shallots, ginger, and 1/4 tsp salt for 5 minutes.

  5. Decrease heat to low. Return pork chops to the skillet. Pour the sauce over the pork. Cover the skillet with a lid or aluminum foil and cook for about 1 hour.

  6. Meanwhile, combine cornstarch and 1 Tbsp cold water. Stir until combined.

  7. Near the end of the 1 hour period, turn on the oven broiler.

  8. Remove the pork chops from the skillet and increase heat to medium-high. Add the cornstarch mixture and simmer while stirring for 2 minutes, or until sauce has thickened.

  9. Remove from heat and return the pork chops to the skillet. Flip once to coat with the sauce. Top with the peach slices.

  10. Transfer the skillet to the oven and broil for 4-5 minutes.

  11. Top with chopped basil and serve.

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