Pork Chops in Lemon-Caper Sauce

serves 4

This recipe for pork chops comes from NYT Cooking. I like pork chops, but I don’t make them very often since unless you sous vide them, it’s hard (for me) to keep them juicy and moist. Sauces definitely help and I’m a sucker for lemon & capers.

The sauce made from this recipe is fantastic and I would consider making this dish with other proteins besides pork. It’d be great on chicken, or as a pasta dish with shrimp. Since the pork is cooked first and then set aside, swapping it out for something else would be pretty straight forward. I’ve made notes below in the directions where I’d start the pasta to keep things getting done around the same time. If you want to try something like this but with a white fish, I recommend this Cod Piccata recipe that I gleaned from Hello Fresh.

I highly recommend serving this with rice! You can start the rice once you’re done with all the prep work and the timing should be perfect.


  • 4 bone-in pork chops, about 8 ounces each
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ tsp dried thyme, and if you have it handy, a few sprigs of fresh thyme (fresh thyme was my addition)
  • 2 TBL olive oil
  • 4 TBL unsalted butter
  • 1 very small shallot, minced
  • 2-to-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • cups chicken stock I use Better Than Boullion
  • 2 TBL drained capers
  • 2 TBL minced fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest, plus 2 TBL juice
  • Hot sauce (optional) I did not use hot sauce, but can see how it could be good

note: you have a few pockets of time while the pork and sauce are doing its thing to do your sides. For timing purposes I do my sides during the 7-10 minutes the sauce is simmering in the last step . Some suggestions are sautéed spinach with garlic (takes 3-5 minutes) and roasted asparagus (takes 10 minutes) with or with out parmesan. The only prep the spinach takes is mincing up a few cloves of garlic. Also, the last time I made this I used bone-in pork rib chops. The four chops totaled 2lbs and cost less than $5!


  • Dry the pork chops with paper towels, and season with salt, pepper and dried thyme
  • Swirl the olive oil into a large skillet, and heat over medium until the oil begins to shimmer
  • Add the pork chops, and cook until well browned on each side and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side this was not enough time for my chops; my chops were a tad more than 8 ounces. From googling the guides lines are ¾” for 6-to-8 minutes, 1½” for 12-to-16 minutes (or 150° on meat thermometer)
  • Transfer chops to a plate, and cover to keep warm
  • The lemon-caper sauce
    • note: if you are trying to convert this to pasta dish, start your pasta now. Salt your pasta water and reserve a cup of it when pasta is done for thinning the sauce
    • Drain the fat from the skillet, then melt 2 TBL of butter in it over medium heat until sizzling
    • Add the shallot and garlic, and sauté until the aromatics soften, reducing the heat if necessary, about 1 minutes
    • Sprinkle in the flour, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes
    • Whisk in the wine and chicken stock, raise heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil, scraping up brown bits on the bottom of the pan
    • If you have fresh thyme, add a few springs now, you’ll fish them out later and discard later
    • Reduce heat to a medium-high and cook, uncovered, until the liquid is reduced by half, 7 to 10 minutes
    • Fish out the thyme, then stir in the capers, parsley, lemon zest and juice and hot sauce to taste (if you are using it), and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes
    • Stir in the remaining 2 TBL of butter until it’s melted and sauce looks smooth
    • Nestle the pork chops (or chicken) into the sauce, and allow them to warm up for a couple of minutes
      • if you are trying this with pasta and shrimp, this is where I’d pour the sauce over the cooked pasta and add reserved pasta water if needed
    • Serve, pouring the sauce over each pork chop to taste
    • Garnish with more fresh parsley

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