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Deviled Pork Chops for Two

Published May 2018

Why This Recipe Works

Most recipes call for pan-searing or broiling pork chops, but here we opted to slow-roast them in a low oven. This way, they retained as much moisture as possible—a must for lean cuts to taste juicy—and cooked evenly from edge to edge, no flipping required. To punch up their mild flavor, we “deviled” them by painting the tops and sides of the chops with a bold, balanced, complex-tasting paste of spicy, sharp Dijon mustard mixed with dry mustard (for an extra jolt of heat), minced garlic, and cayenne and black peppers. A bit of brown sugar and salt balanced the paste’s heat and acidity. For textural contrast and visual appeal, we coated the tops of the chops with crispy panko bread crumbs, which we toasted in butter to render them deep golden brown and make them water-resistant so that they didn’t absorb too much moisture from the mustard coating and turn soggy.

Ingredients

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1 tablespoon unsalted butter
¼ cup panko bread crumbs
Kosher salt and pepper
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
¾ teaspoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon garlic, minced to paste
teaspoon cayenne
2 (6 - to 8-ounce) boneless pork chops, 3/4 to 1 inch thick

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Instructions

Serves 2

For the best results, be sure to buy chops of similar size. This recipe was developed using natural pork; if using enhanced pork (injected with a salt solution), do not add salt to the mustard paste in step 2. Serve the pork chops with mashed potatoes, rice, or buttered egg noodles.

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 275 degrees.

2. Melt butter in 8-inch skillet over medium heat. Add panko and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl and sprinkle with pinch salt. Stir Dijon, sugar, dry mustard, garlic, cayenne, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper in second bowl until smooth.

3. Set wire rack in rimmed baking sheet and spray with vegetable oil spray. Pat chops dry with paper towels. Transfer chops to prepared wire rack, spacing them 1 inch apart. Brush 1 tablespoon mustard mixture over top and sides of each chop (leave bottoms uncoated). Spoon 2 tablespoons toasted panko evenly over top of each chop and press lightly to adhere.

4. Roast until meat registers 140 degrees, 40 to 50 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest on rack for 10 minutes before serving.

Apply Side and Top Coats

Be strategic about applying the mustard paste and bread crumbs to the chops. That way, you'll produce flavor-packed results with great crunch—and minimal mess.

Paste Goes on Top and Sides

It's potent enough that coating just the top and sides of the meat delivers plenty of flavor, so you can avoid getting the paste on the rack.

Crumbs Go Just on Top

The paste will glue the panko crumbs to the chops' top surfaces; there's no need to press them onto the sides.