Cast Iron Pork Chops and Dirty Rice
Why This Recipe Works
To spice up a simple weeknight dinner, we looked to the South for inspiration, where seared pork chops and rice spiked with sausage, aromatics, and Cajun seasoning (called dirty rice) is a classic supper. Using a cast-iron skillet meant that the whole dish could be cooked in one pan, saving on time and cleanup. We started by using our preheated skillet to get an even sear on the chops. We then removed them from the pan and cooked the “dirty” flavor foundation for the rice—spicy chorizo, red bell pepper, and onion—before adding rice, garlic, thyme, and Cajun seasoning. Blooming the aromatics with the rice before adding the chicken broth boosted the zesty flavor profile of the dish. We then nestled the seared chops browned side up into the rice to maintain the flavorful crust while the pork finished cooking. With everything in the skillet, we simply covered the pan and cooked until the pork was done, then removed the chops to rest and continued to simmer the rice until tender and fluffy. The heat retention of the skillet ensured even cooking of both elements of this easy, flavorful supper.
IngredientsPrint Shopping List
|4||(8- to 10-ounce) bone-in pork rib chops, 3/4 to 1 inch thick, trimmed|
|Salt and pepper|
|1||tablespoon vegetable oil|
|4||ounces Spanish-style chorizo sausage, cut into 1/4-inch pieces|
|1||red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped fine|
|1||small onion, chopped fine|
|1||cup long-grain white rice, rinsed|
|6||garlic cloves, minced|
|1||teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried|
|¾||teaspoon Cajun seasoning|
|2||cups chicken broth|
|3||scallions, sliced thin|
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If you can't find chorizo sausage, use andouille or linguiça. Chili powder may be substituted for Cajun seasoning.
1. Cut 2 slits about 2 inches apart through fat on edges of each pork chop. Pat chops dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add oil and heat until just smoking. Place chops in skillet and cook until well browned on one side, about 5 minutes; transfer to plate.
2. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet. Add chorizo, bell pepper, and onion and cook over medium heat until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in rice, garlic, thyme, and Cajun seasoning and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in broth, scraping up any browned bits, and bring to simmer.
3. Nestle chops browned side up into skillet along with any accumulated juices. Reduce heat to gentle simmer, cover, and cook until pork registers 145 degrees, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer chops to serving platter, brushing any rice that sticks to pork back into skillet, and tent loosely with aluminum foil. Let chops rest while finishing rice.
4. Cover skillet and continue to cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until liquid has been absorbed and rice is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle with scallions and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve chops with rice.