Start with a top-quality pork chop, the kind with the t-bone in it, proceed; end up with a ravishingly tasty and tender result. How? That's what I'm here to tell you.
Back in March I posted what I then called "gentle" pork chops. I dare say last night's version were the best I've ever done with a pork chop. I think some of it is the cut of meat. March's version was bone-in loin chop, whereas this time I had the classic pork chop cut, about 3/4" thick and with the tenderloin attached (that's the oval of meat just above the bone at the top of the picture).
I have an interesting idea to try sometime. I hacked off 2 bits from one side of each chop. It was mostly fat with a bit of meat running through it. These pieces I nuked for 1 minute (they had been brined and I wanted to test for saltiness). What I ended up with were 2 scrumptious bits. I'm now wondering if nuking the entire chop might be an option. That's for another day.
Butter-poached pork chops
2 pork chops, brined for 2 hours
paprika (smoked or sweet)
1 1/2 tbsp butter
Rinse the chops under cold water and dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with pepper and paprika to taste, but don't add salt. Make sure to get them to room temperature before cooking.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high (5 on my 1-10 dial) until the butter is melted and seems ready to brown. Put the chops into the pan and immediately reduce the heat to 3.
Cook the first side about 4 minutes. Turn them and continue cooking 4-6 minutes longer. You'll need to cut a slit near the bone to ascertain doneness. If the interior of the meat is just a bit pink get the chops off the heat. Let them rest on a cutting board (but not in the pan) for 5 minutes before serving.