It has been so long since Rahul and I enjoyed a home cooked pork chop. Pork chops remind me of chicken breasts, only better. The meat can be tender and juicy but with more flavor than that of chicken, therefore requiring less extra affairs. But chicken, it is so boring and bland, and without being injected or marinated or grilled, there is little flavor.
That is until you try sous vide pork chops.
But you should let the results be the judge of whether it is worth the investment.
I picked up two boneless pork chops at Fresh Market, both at least an inch and a half thick at least. If I were cooking pork chops by any other method, such as grilling or baking, I would have a difficult (if not impossible) task of ensuring the inside of the meat was cooked to temperature and the outside was not completely overdone. Far too often have I tasted tough, dry pork chops that were the result of being overcooked. It is such a tragedy, to bite into something you are excited to taste, only to be disappointed.
Sous vide water bath cooking is the perfect method for cooking thick pork chops.
While the pork chops will be tender and juicy regardless of what’s on the outside, I wanted to elevate the pork with a simple marinade of parsley, rosemary, sage, and garlic. It’s simple in that I measured nothing. Does everything need to be precisely measured these days? Your pork will be a different size than mine, as will the rosemary and parsley and garlic cloves, so my measurements are of little use to you. Instead, trust your instincts. What makes a great marinade? Enough oil to let the herbs swim in and keep the meat moist, and enough herbs to taste without being excessive.
See how thick these are? Wild!
You are going to sear the meat after the water bath, so you do not want to take a chance of overcooking it. It should be seared for a few minutes on each side to create the color you are accustomed to seeing on meat.
Once you cut into it, you will be surprised at how tender and juicy this pork is.
The herbs and garlic from the marinade add specs of color and crunch once seared, though the lighting and arrangement for these photos certainly helps. Sous vide cooking has restored my faith in pork chops, so much so that I am eagerly looking forward to making this meal again. And that’s from someone who enjoys rarely eating the same thing twice.
SOUS VIDE PORK CHOPS MARINATED IN GARLIC AND HERBS
- Two 8-ounce boneless pork chops
- Fresh parsley, rosemary, and sage
- Salt and black pepper
- 4 garlic cloves
- Olive oil
Make the marinade: Place the pork chops in a glass baking dish. Coarsely chop a handful of parsley, a few sprigs of rosemary and a few sage leaves and toss them together in a small bowl with a generous pinch of salt and sprinkle of black pepper. Slice the garlic cloves and toss them in. Pour in some olive oil and stir together with a fork, about a third of a cup. Pour the marinade over the pork and flip them over, making sure the marinade touches all sides. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Prepare the sous to vide: Place the sous vide immersion circulator on a large pot or plastic container. Fill the pot with water past the minimum line. Turn it on and set it to 144 degrees Fahrenheit / 62 degrees Celcius.
While the water reaches temperature, vacuum seals the pork chops in one bag. You don’t have to pour the marinade into the bag, but don’t wipe off any marinade that clings to the pork.
Place the bag into the water, making sure that the pork is entirely submerged. Cook for 45 minutes.
Remove the pork from the water bath. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add two tablespoons of cooking oil. Sear the pork for 2 minutes on all 6 sides until slightly browned. Serve immediately.