Pan Seared Pork Chops With Meyer Lemon

Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Meyer Lemon

(Costole di Maiale in Padella)

From Domenica Marchetti's "Rustic Italian" cookbook

2 T. extra-virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced

4 fresh bay leaves, or 6 dried bay leaves

2 Meyer lemons, 1 thinly sliced and 1 halved

4 bone-in, center-cut pork chops, 6-8 oz. each

(I used 2 very thick pork chops that weighed 1.5 lbs. total)

1/2 cup dry white wine 

fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper

In a large cast-iron or other heavy-bottomed frying pan, heat the olive oil, garlic and bay leaves over medium-low heat. Sauté until the garlic is lightly golden and the oil is infused with the aroma of garlic and bay leaf, about 5 minutes. Transfer the garlic and bay leaves to a plate and set aside. Return the pan to the heat and add the lemon slices. Cook, turning once, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to the plate with the garlic and bay leaves.

Season the pork with salt and pepper. Arrange in the pan and raise the heat to medium high. Sear until nicely browned on the bottom, 2-3 minutes. Turn the chops and cook until browned on the other side, 2-3 minutes longer. Since my two pork chops were very thick, I decided to add some white wine at this point to Domenica's recipe help them cook quickly. Let it boil down for a minute. Squeeze the lemon halves over the chops and turn to coat them with the juice. Return the garlic, bay leaves and lemon slices to the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook (with a lid, if the chops are very thick, as mine were) until the chops are cooked through - 3-4 minutes longer. The pork chop should spring back but still feel tender if gently pressed with a finger, and the center should be very slightly pink.

Transfer the pork chops to a serving platter and spoon the pan juices, along with the lemon slices, over the top. Serve right away.