Center-Cut Pork Lion with Brown Sugar Garlic Butter
Updated: Dec 17, 2020
We are a big fan of the porterhouse, or t-bone cut steak in this house. Mostly Matt is, I like the small part that's tender, like a filet mignon. That's all I need anyway because that entire cut of beef is mammoth.
Recently after a rare occasion to the grocery store after work, ALONE. No kids, not one, just me and my brain. I intended to pick up just regular thick cut pork chops, to stuff, and try to force my kids to try just one bite, I saw a center-cut pork lion. We made a really, really good brown sugar and garlic pork tenderloin this past summer on the grill, so this just screamed to me "brown-sugar butter and garlic chops for fall dinner!" And then I f*%cking forgot to freeze them and they went bad, so back to square one.
As always, I try to make meals that use general stuff you have in the kitchen, AKA dried seasonings. I know that fresh herbs have their perks and they are pretty and I could go on forever, but realistically, one human to another, unless you have an herb garden (you go dude, I am jealous) we all buy herbs and have all these plans and then they go bad and you're like, WTF. So with that said, you start with the basics. Brown sugar, softened butter, dried thyme, a clove of garlic (minced) and salt/pepper.
Rub the pork chops with a mixture of softened butter, brown sugar, thyme and some garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper and you're done! I cook them in our Ninja Foodi, bake then a minute or two of broil to get a little toasty on the top. The oven works too, same idea. You're going to cook the chops until they are just about done. I'd say a safe 135 degrees, and then broil two minutes and let it rest out of the oven.
The Foodi cooks faster, I generally take about 5 minutes away from the cook time and check, if it's at or above 135 degrees, same idea, broil for 2-3 minutes and then let it rest. I accidentally washed my BRAND NEW meat thermometer, and I'm still crying about it, so I just winged it with these. I ain't gonna lie. Turns out, I actually have a pretty good sense of cook timing and temperature now, so that's cool. I'm going to suggest using a thermometer for you though, Matt was a willing participant in *almost* getting salmonella, don't be that brave.
Also, lie to your children and say it's chicken. That's what I do.
2 center cut, pork lion chops (preferably, thawed and not bad like my first attempt)
1 TBSP of brown sugar
2 TBSP of softened butter, salted or unsalted
1 TSP of garlic powder
1 TSP of thyme
a clove of minced garlic
salt + pepper to taste
1. Mix together the butter, salt, garlic powder + thyme in a small dish
2. Spread the mixture over the pork chops, then flip and repeat for the other side
3. Season with salt + pepper before cooking
4. Set oven to 400 degrees, let the pork marinate while the oven heats up
5. Cook for 15 minutes and check the temperature, if it has reached (or is very close to) 135 degrees, switch oven to LOW broil for 2 minutes, checking the temperature until it reaches 142 degrees. If it has not reached close to 135 degrees, continue cooking the pork checking every two minutes, then BROIL 2-5 minutes, checking frequently to avoid over cooking
6. Once the internal temperature has reached 142 degrees, remove from oven and let rest, it will continue to cook
7. Enjoy with brown sugar, butter + garlic glazed carrots and brown rice (begin steaming carrots before cooking pork, use instant brown rice and cook that just before beginning to broil)
8. And have some Pino handy in case the kids don't want to eat this and you have to make chicken nuggets