Prep 8 hrs
Cook 35 mins
Entered for safe-keeping, from J. Kenji López-Alt, Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats. Use 1-1/2-inch thick chops (might need to request double-cut chops from the butcher). Long dry brining, uncovered, in the refrigerator helps to retain moistness. More at: http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/03/the-food-lab-pork-chops-blah.html. Prep time includes refrigerator dry-brining time.
- NIGHT OR MORNING BEFORE COOKING.
- Pat pork chops with a paper towel. Combine salt and pepper in a small bowl. Season pork chops generously on all sides with the salt and sugar mixture. Transfer to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate, UNCOVERED, at least 8 hours and up to 24.
- Preheat oven to 250°F
- Place baking sheet with pork chops in oven and cook until an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of the chops registers 100-110°F for medium-rare (about 30 minutes), or 110-120°F for medium (about 35 minutes). To prevent overcooking, start checking temperature 5-10 minutes before suggested time.
- Remove chops from oven.
- Heat oil in a large stainless steel or cast iron skillet over high heat until smoking.
- Place pork chops in skillet and cook, turning occasionally, until starting to brown, about 1 1/2 minutes.
- Add butter, shallots, and thyme to skillet. Continue cooking, spooning shallots and thyme on top of chops and basting with butter until golden brown on both sides and well-crusted, about 2 minutes longer.
- Remove pan from heat, transfer chops to a clean rack set in a rimmed baking sheet, and let rest for 3-5 minutes.
- Just before serving, reheat dripping in pan until smoking. Pour hot drippings over chops. They should sizzle and crisp a bit. Serve immediately.