For a restaurant quality main dish, give this simple pan fried Berkshire pork chop recipe a try! It combines fresh herbs and seasonings with a cooking method that keeps the meat juicy inside and crisp on the outside.
What is Berkshire Pork
Berkshire is a heritage breed pig known for it’s high quality meat. It’s rumored that the pig was discovered over 300 years ago by Oliver Cromwell’s army in Reading, a town in the Berkshire County of South East England.
Berkshire pork is prized for its flavor, tenderness, juiciness, and marbling. Even cooking the chops with a simple pan sear or reverse sear steak oven method gives excellent results.
Where to Buy Berkshire Pork
Although many local butchers may sell this heritage pork, it might not be labeled as Berkshire. That’s why you may want to buy directly from a specialty pig farm like R Family Farms.
R Family Farms raises their pigs using outdoor reared production practices along with modern technology in Kansas. But you don’t have to be local to enjoy their pork products because they have an online store that will ship right to your door.
Raising Heritage Berkshire Pigs
A few weeks ago, I had a virtual farm tour with Kaden and Emily Roush, the owners of R Family Farms, to learn more about their pig farm. I also got to meet Emily on the Farm Food Tour that was the inspiration for my keto air fryer pork chops.
The R Family pig farm currently has about 1000 pigs with 140 sows. Each sow has an average of 2 to 2 ½ litters per year. The piglets are born and kept inside a climate controlled maternity barn farrowing area until weaned.
After weaning, the pigs are moved to large outdoor deep bedded hoop houses with access to field areas. They get plenty of food and engaging activity with natural enrichment until ready to harvest. That means they are kept happy and comfortable!
At R Family Farms, the meat gets harvested once a month. If you want to learn more about pig farming, I go into more details in my “Where Does Food Come From” post.
Berkshire Pork Chop Recipe Ingredients
My favorite meat cut from R Family Farms is the porterhouse chops. They are so good; they usually sell out within a few days of being in stock.
When cooking pork chops, I like to keep the seasonings simple, so the flavor of the meat comes through. Salt and pepper are all you really need for Berkshire pork, but garlic, butter, rosemary, and thyme are great additions.
Steps for Simple Pan Sear
Before starting, it’s a good idea to take the pork chops out of the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes. Don’t rub on salt and pepper until just before cooking because salt can draw water out of the meat.
The cooking method I like to use sears the meat on the stove then finishes the cooking in the oven. To do this, you’ll need an oven-safe skillet, preferably a cast iron pan.
To make the recipe, just follow these easy steps:
- Heat oil or fat in skillet over high heat.
- Sear one side of the seasoned pork chops in the hot oil until browned.
- Add garlic, butter, and herbs then flip the meat.
- Sear the other side by cooking on medium-high until browned.
- Finish cooking in the oven until the meat registers 145°F.
- Use a fat or oil with a high smoke point. The oil needs to be simmering hot to get a good sear. If the oil starts to smoke at this temperature, it can begin to decompose and release toxins.
- Bone-in chops have more flavor than boneless. You can use boneless but the bone adds flavor and helps keep the meat juicy.
- Go for thicker cut. Thinner cuts will cook faster which makes it easier to overcook and result in dry meat.
- Don’t move the meat while searing. Moving the meat will interfere with the necessary contact between the meat and pan that gives a good sear.
- Allow the chops to sit for a few minutes after cooking. The meat will be juicier if allowed to sit before cutting so the juices can redistribute throughout.
- Use a cast iron pan. Cast iron holds on to heat well which provides the high temperature needed for a good sear.
- Don’t cook the meat right from the refrigerator. Taking the chill out of the meat before cooking will result in juicier pork because the meat cooks more evenly.
- Remove the meat just prior to reaching 145°F. Although pork is fully cooked at 145°F, it will continue to cook after removing from the oven. Therefore, you may want to take it out at about 140°F. There used to be a risk of trichinosis from eating raw pork but that has been virtually eliminated by modern pig farming methods.
How to Grill Porterhouse Pork Chops
I don’t have an indoor grill so when the weather is warmer, I prefer to grill Berkshire pork chops outside. Although you can use a simple keto marinade, I usually just season with a little salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
The cooking steps for grilling are very similar to pan searing.
- Allow meat to sit at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Season the meat then place on the grill grates.
- Grill for 3 to 5 minutes per side.
- Remove when meat registers 140°F to 145°F and allow to rest on a plate for 5 minutes.
Other Recipes to Try
Looking for more easy and delicious keto pork recipes? You’ll find some of our family favorites below:
- Boneless Pork Ribs in Oven is one of the easiest recipes ever! Just season, bake, and enjoy!
- Keto Pulled Pork slow cooks a shoulder roast until it’s fork tender and easily shredded.
- Filipino Pork Steak is marinated with a tangy marinade then braised with onion until it’s tender and juicy.
- Bacon Pork Chops wraps the meat in high fat bacon strips so it stays juicy after baking.
- Instant Pot Pork Loin Roast is the fastest way to cook a roast that keeps the meat tender and moist.
Pan Seared Berkshire Pork Chops
- 1 ¾ pounds Berkshire porterhouse pork chops
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons high smoke point oil or fat like ghee or avocado oil
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons butter or ghee
- Remove pork chops from refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 275°F. Season pork chops with salt and pepper.
- In oven-safe skillet, heat oil or fat over high heat. Transfer seasoned pork chops to pan and cook 3 to 5 minutes for good sear.
- Add the herbs, garlic, and butter. Flip chops and lower heat to medium-high. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes to sear bottom side.
- Place pan in preheated oven and cook until meat registers 145°F with a meat thermometer. Remove pork chops to serving plates and spoon over liquid from the pan.
- Use a fat or oil with a high smoke point.
- Bone-in chops have more flavor than boneless.
- Go for thicker cut.
- Don’t move the meat while searing.
- Allow the chops to sit for a few minutes after cooking.
- Use a cast iron pan.
- Don’t cook the meat right from the refrigerator.
- Remove the meat just prior to reaching 145°F.
Array ( [calories] => 845 [carbohydrates] => 1 [protein] => 86 [fat] => 53 [saturated_fat] => 19 [cholesterol] => 296 [sodium] => 291 [potassium] => 1480 [fiber] => 1 [sugar] => 1 [vitamin_a] => 421 [vitamin_c] => 3 [calcium] => 39 [iron] => 2 )
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