Braising is the best method around to ensure your pork chops will be fork-tender and delicious. After a quick sear, these Skillet Braised Pork Chops are cooked low and slow in a balsamic pan sauce to create an incredibly savory meal.
More favorite pork recipes include Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Glaze and Pork Loin Roast with Gravy.
Pork chops can be a tough bugger… literally. Without the correct cooking method, they can end up as tough as shoe leather. But with the proper technique, you can turn this inexpensive cut into a tender, flavorful, family-pleasing meal.
I attempted to eat these incredibly tasty chops with the manners my mama gave me – lady-like and with a knife and fork – but in the end I was compelled to pick the thing up and go after it until I had every last bit of meat off that bone.
Yeah, that happened. Sorry Mom.
Pork chops were on regular rotation on our dinner menu when I was a kid. My mom cooked them frequently and only one way – pan fried with mashed potatoes and creamy mushroom gravy. You know, the kind of gravy made with good old-fashioned Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup. It was that recipe that was the inspiration behind my Crock-Pot Pork Sirloin Tip Roast recipe and I still love those pork chops dearly to this day.
But, I’ve branched out from my pork chop beginnings and I’m here today to share a great method and a delicious recipe that is a big departure from Mom’s 1970’s style chops.
How to Make Skillet Braised Pork Chops
First, we need some chops! I picked up this package of four bone-in pork loin chops for just a tad over $10.
- Grab a large, heavy skillet – I’m using a nice quality nonstick pan here. Add a couple of tablespoons vegetable oil and place it over high heat. You might need to add more oil if you’re not using a nonstick pan.
- Add the chops and cook them for several minutes until nicely browned on one side.
- As they cook, season both sides of the chops with some salt, fresh ground pepper, and fresh thyme. We aren’t concerned with cooking the chops through at this point, we just want to get a nice sear on them.
- Once browned, transfer the chops to a plate and set aside.
- Remove the chops from the pan, pour off any excess grease, and quickly wipe the pan down with a paper towel. This will help prevent the braising liquid from being too greasy. It’s not a required step but I recommend it.
- Add a little additional vegetable oil, if needed. Reduce the heat to medium and add some chopped onion and minced garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, until the onion is softened and the garlic is fragrant.
- To the cooked onion and garlic add some chicken broth, Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, a little brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce.
- Cook and stir for about a minute until the sauce is combined.
- Add the browned chops back to the pan, nestling them down into that flavor-packed sauce.
- Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for at least 45 minutes to an hour, until fork-tender. This part can happen in the oven if you’d like. See the printable recipe below for the oven braising directions.
And that, my friends, is that. Plate them up, spooning some of the sauce and onions over the top, and serve them with your choice of sides.
I feel like it’s almost required to serve Skillet Braised Pork Chops with potatoes of some sort and this time I went with my Lemon and Garlic Roasted Potatoes. Pork is absolutely delicious with Roasted Sweet Potatoes too! Those Bourbon Glazed Carrots up there are out-of-this-world-good.
For a great resource on this cut of meat, including a comparison of alternate cooking methods, be sure to check out The Food Lab’s Guide to Pan Seared Pork Chops on Serious Eats.
Now, go forth, and eat pork chops!
More Pork Recipes You’ll Love
- Southwestern Pork Tenderloin
- Juiciest Baked Pork Tenderloin
- Tender Baked Pork Chops
- BBQ Country Style Ribs
Skillet Braised Pork Chops
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided ( or as needed)
- 4 bone-in pork chops
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons chopped, fresh thyme
- 1 cup diced onions
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large heavy skillet over MEDIUM-HIGH heat, add the pork chops. Cook the chops for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until nicely browned, seasoning both sides with salt, fresh ground pepper, and fresh thyme. Transfer browned chops to a plate and set aside.
- Drain grease from pan and add remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Reduce heat to MEDIUM and add onions to pan. Cook and stir for about a minute and then add garlic. Cook until onions are softened and lightly browned, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the chicken broth, Dijon, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce to the pan and cook, stirring for about a minute. Add the chops back to the pan, nestling them into the sauce. Increase heat and bring mixture to a boil. Cover the pan tightly, reduce heat, and cook over LOW heat for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the pork chops are fork-tender.
- If you prefer to use the oven, cover the skillet (ovenproof) or transfer to a baking pan and cover tightly with foil. Braise the pork chops at 325 degrees for about 45 to 55 minutes, until tender
Nutrition information is automatically calculated using generic ingredients, and is an estimate not a guarantee. For more accurate results, please refer to the labels on your ingredients at home.
Questions and Reviews
I made this recipe once and I used leeks instead of onions. It turned out amazing!!! I credit it to your simmering sauce and cooking method. I forget to bookmark the recipe and after searching for 2 days, I am happy to say I found it again. Bookmarked and ready to go. Thank you, Valarie!
Fantastic! Thanks, Peter 🙂
I had previously emailed you regarding my first couple tries on your pork chop recipe. They were very good but made with cider vinegar. You encouraged me to try the Balsamic and I did today for Sunday dinner. Very well received by my wife and I also thought they were great. We also use the braising liquid with onions as a sauce and for dipping. Excellent! From now on I will follow the recipe precisely.
I’m so glad to hear you tried the balsamic, Chuck! Now that you’ve got that bottle in your cupboard you can hunt around for some other ways to use it. Here are a few of my recipes that include it – Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Glaze, Balsamic Herb Grilled Chicken, Balsamic Grilled Zucchini, and if you happen to have a bottle of whiskey on hand you might want to give my Whiskey Balsamic Steak a try!
Do you think I could add cabbage and some apples with the pork chops when they are covered and braising? I have a recipe that includes them but the reviews of that recipe said it was kind of bland – the flavors in your recipe sound great.
I love the sound of that, Kim. I think it might work well. My only concern would be that there is enough liquid for the chops after you add the other items so you might want to try to increase the amount. Please let me know how it turns out if you try it.
I added about a half pound of thin-sliced cabbage, and ended up adding about a half cup or so of water. It was fabulous. Even my ultra-picky teenage daughter, who balked at the idea of pork chops for dinner, liked this meal. It’s a keeper!
Fantastic! I’m so glad to hear this worked and it really does sound fabulous. Thanks so much for the update and the great suggestion 🙂
Well what a surprise! A complete and enjoyable different taste to pork chops. Me, I always have apple sauce when having pork but did not miss or need it this time. Also did the potatoes and carrots and the meal came out exactly as per your photo, very tasty. The wife was impressed, thanks
Fantastic! I just love the balsamic with pork. Such a good flavor combo. I love to hear there are men out there cooking for their wives. That’s a beautiful thing! Thanks for your comment, Bill.
Hi I rarely leave comments but these are fabulous!!! And also it was super easy to pin it to Pinterest, sometimes it’s hard to get recipes to pin but I was super happy that it was a cinch here! So thank you for both the tastiest pork chops I’ve ever eaten and for the super easy pinning! You’ve made my day!
Well, you’ve made my day too, Lindsey! Thank you so much for your wonderful comment and I’m so glad the pork chops worked out so well for you. I need to add these to my menu next week!
Wished it were more printer friendly—I got the whole spiel! But I’m looking to cooking this for my hubby!
Hi Kathi. The recipe card is printable. Look for the button that says “Print”.
I’m going to be making this soon and wasn’t sure if the liquid should cover the chops or sit just below them ? Can’t wait to try it, Thanks !
Hi Kristen. If you use the amounts called for in the recipe and a 12″ skillet (or close) it should work out just fine. The sauce will not completely cover the chops. I hope you enjoy the recipe!
This recipe looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it but I had to comment about how totally annoying it is to have advertisements that you cannot close float directly over the recipe making it impossible to see all the ingredients. I suggest a reader version be made available.
I’m so sorry this happened! Please let me know how you are viewing the site – on mobile or desktop? It should not happen and I want to be sure it doesn’t again. Thanks, Lisa.
Mmmmmm, love the color, can just about taste the porky goodness from the pix. Can’t wait to try these, got some chops somewhere in that freezer………
Looks wonderful & I will be making that this weekend. Do you have a recipe for those wonderful looking carrots???? I have a ton of carrots to use & they look AWESOME too!!! Thanks!!!
Hello Cece 🙂 I will be sharing the carrots soon! Enjoy the pork chops!
looks good Val! My mom always served pork chops fried with a egg and flour batter, with fried potatoes and maybe fried okra, with biscuits and maybe gravy. .can you say southern? It was delicious! I tend to serve pork braised, at least once or twice a week, love this recipe!
Definitely southern and definitely delicious! I love southern cooking. Thanks Trina 🙂
These look great Valerie! My mom made pork chops a lot too, she made it out to be a big “special occasion” kind of meal. When I left and started making it on my own I realized it’s basically a can plus some ketchup, lol! Um, I still love it though.
Funny how those recipes we grew up with are always the best!