The trend to name pork chops after beef steaks may cause minor confusion at the butcher's counter. Yet nothing has changed when it comes to preparing them at the kitchen counter. A ribeye chop, for example, is just a basic rib pork chop with a fancier name. Whatever cooking method you choose for these tender chops, always make sure the pork has reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit and rests for three minutes, before serving.
The basic saute method for ribeyes is to cook seasoned chops in a heavy-bottomed, oiled skillet set to medium-high heat. Move the ribeyes around the pan, turning them at least once as they cook. The pork should take about three minutes per side. If you'll be using the same pan to saute other ingredients to top the ribeyes, such as wine-soaked mushrooms or browned pears, keep the pork warm and juicy under tented foil while cooking the topping.
In Praise of the Braise
Braising essentially allows you to cook pork chops in their own sauce, infusing them with flavor and moisture. Start by searing ribeyes in a heated, oiled pan. When both sides have cooked about four minutes per side, remove the chops and most of the extra fat from the pan. Add about 1 cup of cooking liquid, such as beer, wine, chicken stock or cider, to the pan. Place the chops in the liquid and simmer them covered for another five minutes or so. To convert the cooking liquid to sauce, keep the chops warm on a plate while you boil the liquid over medium heat until it reduces by half.
Before grilling ribeyes, inject them with flavor and tenderize them by marinating them overnight. Use about 1 cup of liquid for every four chops. Experiment with a mixture of liquids, such as olive oil and red wine vinegar, or fruit juices, peanut oil and soy sauce. Add complementary herbs and spices. Once your charcoal or gas grill is ready, sear the pork chops on both sides over direct heat, then move them to the cooler spot of the grill. Cook the ribeyes covered for at least three additional minutes per side.
Baked pork chops get off to a flavorful start if you bread and sear them first. A basic breading technique involves flouring the chops, dipping them in beaten eggs, then dredging them in a bowl of breadcrumbs mixed with dried herbs and Parmesan cheese. After browning the chops in a skillet over medium-high heat for two minutes per side, set the chops in an oven preheated to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. The chops will become crispy and fully cooked in about 20 minutes.