Quick-Brined, then Pan-Roasted Pork Chops with Shallot & White Wine Reduction

by Sarah on June 8, 2010

Don’t you hate dry, dull pork chops? I sure do. That’s why I sometimes brine them before cooking. A nice brine will perk your pork right up and keep them nice and juicy.

First, boil about a cup of water with 1/4 each kosher salt and sugar or brown sugar.  Let cool.  You can add ice to speed the cooling process.

Mix it into a quart container with cold water.

Place the chops into the brine.

Put them in the fridge and let soak in the brine for 1/2 to 1 hour.

When you take them out to cook them, make sure you pat them dry.  They won’t sear properly when they’re wet.   If they are wet, they will be icky.  If they are dry, they will get a nice brown crust and be delicious.

Season the chops with salt and pepper and place them into a hot pan with a bit of oil.

Just let them sit there and get brown.  Don’t try to move them around.  They’ll release easily when they get a browned crust.

If you’ve got thin chops like these, just get them brown on both sides and set them aside.  If they are really thick, you may need to put the pan into a moderate oven to let them finish cooking.

Back to the pan.  Add a chopped shallot and saute, stirring, to loosen the browned stuff on the bottom of the pan.  Some mushrooms would be good here too.

Add some white wine and bring to a boil.  Just put in however much you want.  I think I used at least a cup.  You could also use chicken stock if you don’t want to use wine.  Let cook a couple of minutes, until the sauce begins to reduce.

Add a knob of butter.  Don’t argue with me, just do it.  It’s only a couple of tablespoons, and there’s 4 servings.  It will really help the sauce taste good.

See how the sauce tightens right up?  Please ignore my dirty stove.

Put the chops back in the pan, along with any accumulated juices and heat through.

Serve with some of the shallots and sauce on top.

Quick-Brined and Pan-Roasted Pork Chops with Shallot & White Wine Reduction


  • 1 quart plus 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 pork chops
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • salt and pepper


  • Boil 1 cup water with the sugar and salt. Let cool. Mix with the quart of cold water in a bowl or container. Place chops in bowl with brine. Refrigerate 30 minutes to 1 hour. Remove chops before cooking and pat dry.
  • Season chops with salt and pepper. Heat pan over medium high heat and add the oil. Put chops in hot pan and let sear until browned. When the first side is brown, turn the chops over and let brown on the other side. Remove chops and set aside on a plate.
  • Return pan to stove, over medium heat. Add shallots and saute, stirring to loosen browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Let reduce slightly. Add the butter and stir until the butter is incorporated. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper, if needed.
  • Add the chops back to the pan, with any accumulated juices. Heat through and serve with some of the shallots and sauce on top.

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