My husband loves Pork Chops, but I fret every time I make them that I will either under cook and poison my entire family or overcook them until they taste like sawdust. When I discovered sous vide cooking, it took my worry of under or overcooking meat away. What sous vide will get you is meat that is perfectly cooked from edge to edge in a consistent and completely reliable way. You'll have pork chops that are juicier than you've ever tasted, and most importantly, at a safe temperature. These steps also make preparation easy: Select your temperature, put your pork in the cooker, sear it, and serve.
With sous vide cooking, because you're cooking at the exact temperature at which you're planning on serving your meat, timing is much more forgiving. For these pork chops, you want them to be in the water bath for at least an hour and up to four hours. Any time after four hours the texture of the meat starts changing. Temperature is by far the overriding factor. By adjusting the temperature of your cooker, you can cook your pork chops to anywhere from a pink, juicy rare 130 degrees to a firm but still moist well-done 160 degrees.
Thick cut pork chops
Kosher salt and pepper
Butter and or vegetable oil
Fresh thyme or rosemary (optional)
Garlic cloves (optional)
Preheat a sous vide cooker to the desired final temperature according to your preferred doneness. Season pork chops generously with salt and pepper. Place in sous vide bags along with butter, herbs, garlic, and shallots (if using) and distribute evenly. Seal bags and place in water bath for at least an hour and up to four hours.
Finish in the Pan
Remove pork from the water bath and cut bag open carefully. Pat dry with paper towels. Heat two tablespoons of vegetable oil a heavy cast iron skillet over high heat until it starts to smoke. Or you can heat the dry skillet and add butter at the same time you add the pork. Working in batches if necessary, gently lay pork chops in skillet. Carefully lift and peek under pork as it cooks to gauge how quickly it is browning. Let it continue to cook until the crust is deep brown and very crisp, about one minute.
Flip pork chops. If desired, add one more tablespoon butter, along with thyme, rosemary, garlic, and shallots. Spoon butter over pork chops as they cook. Continue cooking until the second side is browned, about one minute.
When pork is browned, pick it up with a pair of tongs, rotate it sideways, and make sure to brown the edges as well. Transfer cooked pork chops to a plate and tent with foil. Repeat with remaining pork chops as necessary.
Just before serving, reheat the drippings in the pan until sizzling-hot, then pour them over pork chops to re-crisp their exteriors. Serve immediately.