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Balsamic pork chops are tangy and sweet, and (if you do it right) they fall right off the bone! Step up your dinner menu with my take on this American classic. The secret? My special ingredient: apricot jam!
Pork chops are one of those American recipes that show up everywhere: on the dinner table, at restaurants, and at family get-togethers. There’s a reason! They are easy to find in any supermarket, they’re a breeze to prepare, and they are delicious. There are also about a million different ways you can make and serve them.
Today, I decided to add a little something unique. While you may have never tried a balsamic glaze over meat, I’m certain you’ll love it. Tangy, dark, rich, a little bit sweet, and generally bursting with flavor — it’s one of my favorite sauces. I’ve used it on honey-baked chicken, on lamb, with roasted vegetables, and even in this strawberry rhubarb crumble. I told you I love the stuff!
Before you go wild and check out my other recipes, let’s take a closer look at these balsamic glazed pork chops!
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Pork Chops – Opt for bone-in or boneless, 1-inch thick cuts. I’ve also used 1 ¼-inch cuts. Just keep in mind that thicker cuts take longer to cook!
- Balsamic Vinegar – The darkest and most richly flavored type of vinegar. This wouldn’t be a balsamic glazed pork chops recipe without it!
- Chicken Stock – You can also sub this for vegetable stock if that’s your preference.
- Apricot Jam – The jam adds some nice contrast to the rest of the flavors. It also picks up on the slight sweetness found in the vinegar! I use sugar-free, but you can use regular too. I’ve also heard of some chefs subbing strawberry jam here. It could work!
- Dijon Mustard – You need a little bit of heat to balance out the sweetness from the other ingredients.
- Butter – Use butter to sear the balsamic pork chops — it helps create a gorgeous crust on the outside.
- Spices & Seasonings – You’ll use salt, black pepper, minced garlic, thyme, and red pepper flakes in your glaze. Don’t forget about fresh parsley too. It’s for your garnish!
HOW TO MAKE BALSAMIC PORK CHOPS
- Preheat & Season. Preheat your oven to 400°F and prepare the meat. Season with salt and pepper, then set aside so that you can make your glaze.
- Prepare the Glaze. Place a small saucepan over medium heat. Add in the chicken (or vegetable) stock, apricot jam, balsamic vinegar, mustard, and the rest of the spices and seasonings (except the fresh parsley). Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer until the glaze becomes thick.
- Cook the Meat. Melt your butter in a large cast-iron skillet. Add the meat and sear each side until they become crispy and golden brown. Then, place the pan in your preheated oven. Bake until the internal temperature reaches 143°F. You can verify the temp with a food-safe thermometer.
- Let It Rest. Remove the skillet from the oven, place the meat on your serving dish, and cover with aluminum foil while it rests for about 10 minutes.
- Serve & Enjoy. Take the foil off of the meat and pour the glaze over top so that it covers each chop completely. Feel free to flip the meat to cover the other side. Garnish balsamic pork chops with parsley and serve with your side of choice! I like to eat mine with mashed potatoes.
Should You Season Pork Chops Before Cooking?
This type of meat tends to be lean and a bit lacking in flavor on its own. It all depends on the cut and the amount of marbling in it! No matter the case, you should always season with (at least) salt before cooking. Feel free to branch out and use a combination of your favorite dry seasonings. Thyme, garlic, and parsley come to mind for these balsamic pork chops!
How Do You Keep Pork Chops From Drying Out?
Whenever I cook balsamic glazed pork chops, I always use the sear-roasting method. I sear the meat on high heat in a cast-iron skillet until the outside turns golden brown – I usually fry each side just once. Then, I place them in the oven at 400°F to finish off the cooking process. This method ensures that this type of meat never dries out by locking in all of those delicious juices!
What Tastes Good With Balsamic Glaze?
There are so many options when it comes to using this rich glaze – the first being balsamic glazed pork chops! You can also use it on roasted veggies, as a salad dressing, over a Caprese salad (tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh basil), over grilled steak or chicken, or over fresh bruschetta. One very unique don’t-knock-it-til-you-try-it idea is to serve over vanilla ice cream. Trust me!
This post, originally published on Kevin is Cooking Sept. 19, 2016, was updated with new content on Feb. 17, 2022.
Balsamic Pork Chops
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Season pork chops on both sides with kosher salt and pepper.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine chicken stock, apricot jam, balsamic vinegar, mustard, garlic, thyme and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Melt butter in a large ovenproof skillet (like cast iron) over medium-high heat. Add pork chops and sear on each side until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer pan to oven and bake until internal temperature of pork reaches 143°F, about 8-10 minutes.
- Remove pan from oven and transfer chops to a serving platter. Tent with sheet of foil and allow meat to rest for 5-10 minutes. Remove foil and pour glaze over pork chops, turning to coat. Serve immediately.
- Four 8 ounce bone-in or boneless, 1-inch thick pork chops. I’ve also had 1 1/4 inch thick boneless that took almost 12 minutes.
- I use sugar free apricot jam, but regular jam is fine too.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.