Wolfgang Puck's Juicy Pork Chops
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Heat a large, heavy-bottom, ovenproof skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, pat the pork chops dry with paper towels and sprinkle them on both sides with salt and pepper to taste and the fresh herbs.
- Add the oil to the hot skillet and as soon as the oil is hot enough to swirl around easily, add 1 tablespoon of the butter and the pork chops, spacing the chops about 1 inch apart. Cook the chops undisturbed until their undersides are golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Use tongs to turn them over and sear about 1 minute more.
- Transfer the pan to the oven and roast until the chops are cooked through but still slightly pink at the center, about 12 to 15 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven, transfer the chops to a platter, and cover them with aluminum foil to keep them warm while you make the sauce.
- Pour off all of the fat from the skillet. Return the skillet to the stovetop over medium-high heat and pour in the port. With a wooden spoon, stir and scrape to deglaze the pan deposits. Add the dried cranberries and continue simmering the Port briskly until it reduces to about half its original volume, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in 1 tablespoon of the hoisin sauce or barbecue sauce and continue simmering, stirring frequently, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon; taste the sauce and, if you like, stir in a little more hoisin or barbecue sauce. Then whisk in the remaining butter, a piece or two at a time, until the sauce looks creamy and glossy. Taste the sauce and, if necessary, add a little more salt and pepper to taste.
- Return the pork chops to the skillet, turn them in the sauce to coat them well, and continue simmering until the chops are heated through, 1 to 2 minutes more.