Pork Chops with Sherry Pan Sauce with Ras Al Hanout

Dry sherry lends an oxidized, nutty complexity to this pan sauce. Sweetened with fresh orange juice and dried fruit, it's perfect with pork chops or seared duck breasts. The technique here relies on rendering fat from the meat, setting it aside, and using that fat to bloom beautifully complex ras al hanout in the pan, before deglazing it with sherry to incorporate every bit of flavor into the final sauce. This recipe is written for pork chops, but you can make the sherry pan sauce from other proteins; start from step 2, working with 1 tablespoon of reserved drippings, and proceed as written. 

Pork Chops with Sherry Pan Sauce with Ras Al Hanout
Photo: Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Micah Morton / Prop Styling by Audrey Davis
Total Time:
30 mins
Servings:
4

Ingredients

  • 2 (1-pound) bone-in, center cut pork chops (about 11/4 inches thick)

  • 1 ¾ tablespoons kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste

  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil (such as grapeseed)

  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)

  • 1 ½ teaspoons ras el hanout

  • .3333 cup dry sherry (such as oloroso)

  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest plus 1 cup fresh orange juice (from 4 oranges)

  • 3 tablespoons chopped prunes or dried figs

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or cilantro

Directions

  1. Season pork with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add pork chops; cook, flipping often, until well browned and a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of meat near the bone registers 130°F, about 15 minutes. Transfer pork to a plate, and pour off all but 1 tablespoon drippings, taking care to preserve browned bits in skillet.

  2. Add shallot to skillet over medium-high; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 1 minute. Add ras el hanout; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add sherry; simmer, stirring to loosen browned bits, until liquid has reduced by about half, 1 to 2 minutes. Add orange zest and juice and prunes; cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture has thickened slightly and reduced to about 1 cup, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with pork chops.

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