INGREDIENTS

4 boneless center-cut pork chops, each 1 to 1-1/2 in thick (2 to 2-1/2 lbs total)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Cup chicken (or vegetable) broth
3 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar (preferably Fig Balsamic)
1/4 Cup dried figs, finely chopped
1-1/2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp Thyme
2 Tbsp Butter, divided into four pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

STEPS

Make the Pork Chops: Preheat oven to 425°F. Remove pork chops from packaging and pat with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Season both sides of each chop with salt and pepper. Heat a large, heavy, ovenproof (cast iron) skillet on the stove over medium-high heat, about 1 min.

Add the oil to the heated skillet, spread it across the cooking surface quickly, and quickly place the pieces of pork in the pan so that pieces are evenly spaced out. Sear on one side for two min. Use tongs to lift a corner of one of the chops. If it is well-browned and “unsticks” easily from the pan, flip the pork chop over. (Allow to cook for another minute if chop sticks or is not yet brown). Repeat for each of the other pork chops. After flipping, sear the other side of the chop for 1 minute. When all four chops are seared on both sides, transfer the skillet to the preheated 425F oven.

Roast the pork chops until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F, about 6 – 8 min. Carefully take the flaming-hot skillet from the oven, and remove the pork chops to a large plate. Make an aluminum foil tent over the pork chops, and allow the dish to rest while the sauce is being prepared.

Prepare the Fig-Balsamic Sauce: Pour off excess fat from the hot skillet, and return it to the stove. Add the chicken (vegetable) broth and fig balsamic vinegar to the pan and stir, over med-high heat, using a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Continue to cook until the broth is reduced by half (to about 1/2 cup), about 5 min.

Add the chopped dried figs, honey, and thyme. Stir to combine and return mixture to a simmer/low boil. Continue to simmer until the sauce is reduced by another 1 to 2 Tbsp, about 1 min. Add the chunks of butter to the skillet and continue to stir while the butter melts into the sauce mixture. Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste.

Drizzle the fig balsamic sauce over the pork chops and serve immediately.

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