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Pasture Raised Pork Chops with Whipped Maple Brown Butter & The Best Salad Ever Recipe

An absolute show-stopper of a meal fit for a dinner party – these pasture raised pork chops are quickly pan-seared then basted with a delightful whipped maple brown butter and fresh thyme. Served alongside what I venture to say is the best salad ever – organic spring mix tossed with creamy goat cheese crumbles, crunchy candied pecans, tart honeycrisp apple slices (classic pairing with pork), plus a perfect vinaigrette that's sure to earn its place in your regular rotation (and convince you to ditch that store-bought salad dressing forever).

In the video for this recipe on our Instagram, we used some thin pork chops that are excellent for weeknight dinners – quick thawing and quicker cooking! If you're subscribed to our Grassroots Club, you may have some in your freezer. Of course this recipe works especially as well with a thicker pork chop, just adjust cooking time and remember, an overcooked pork chop is a sad pork chop! We aim for 140°F rested temp for a slightly pink, juicy center that's nothing like the chops of your childhood. The components for this recipe are best prepped in advance – make the butter & nuts one day, then the vinaigrette another day...and when you're ready to cook the pork chops, everything comes together very quickly! 


For the Whipped Maple Brown Butter –

  • 1 stick butter (8 tbsp / 4oz.)
  • 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • Flaky salt such as Maldon, optional

For the Perfect Vinaigrette –

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Small shallot, finely minced (about 2 tbsp)
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • Wedge of lemon, squeezed 
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • Kosher salt & freshly cracked black pepper

For the Candied Pecans –

  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar (regular brown sugar works too)
  • 3/4 cup pecan halves (or pieces)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, optional
  • Pinch of kosher salt

For the Salad –

  • 4 oz. package of spring mix lettuce
  • 4 oz. package of goat cheese crumbles
  • 1 Honeycrisp apple, sliced into very thin wedges
  • Candied pecans, recipe follows
  • Vinaigrette, recipe follows

For the Pork Chops –


For the Whipped Maple Brown Butter – melt butter in a medium saucepan or skillet over medium heat until browned and nutty. This usually takes 5-7 minutes. Be sure to swirl (not stir) the butter occasionally and keep a close watch when the butter gets quiet and starts foaming up. This is when the browning begins and we don't want it getting anywhere near burning!

When done, remove to a glass measuring cup or bowl, stir in the maple syrup, then place in the freezer for 5-10 minutes until solidified.

Place solidified browned butter the bowl of a stand mixer (or regular bowl if using a hand mixer or whisk), and whip until creamy and holding peaks. Transfer to a storage container, garnish with flaky salt, and chill until ready for use. 

For the Vinaigrette – combine all ingredients in a glass jar with lid and shake until well combined. Taste and season with salt & pepper to taste. Alternatively, place in a large container and use an immersion blender for a smooth, creamy consistency.

For the Candied Pecans – preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, melt butter, then stir in the dark brown sugar and cayenne, if using. Add pecans and stir to combine. Spread evenly on a parchment paper lined sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes to harden up before breaking nuts apart. If you're using pecan halves and prefer a finer texture, transfer cooled nuts to a large bag and smash lightly with a rolling pin. 

For the Pork Chops – pat the pork chops dry and season with kosher salt & freshly cracked black pepper. Place a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add about 1/2 tbsp of pasture raised lard or olive oil and heat through. Once pan is very hot, add pork chops and sear for 2-3 minutes (if using thin chops – adjust time accordingly for thicker chops). Carefully flip the chops over using tongs, and reduce heat to low. Add a couple spoonfuls of whipped maple brown butter followed by fresh thyme sprigs.

Tilt pan to one side and baste pork chops with butter and thyme for another minute or so (or until pork is just shy of your target temp, I usually aim for 140°F rested temp for a slightly pink, juicy center). Remove to a plate or board to rest 10 minutes, with butter and herbs poured over.

Assemble the Salad – place spring mix in a large bowl and pour a bit of vinaigrette over and toss to coat. Top with goat cheese crumbles, candied pecans, and apple slices. Toss again to distribute and drizzle with a little more vinaigrette if desired. 

Serve pork chops alongside the salad, with extra maple brown butter for passing. Enjoy!

We hope you liked this recipe! If you'd like to share your delicious dish on Instagram, don't forget to tag us @1915_Farm

*MAKE AHEAD: Whipped Maple Brown Butter can be made up to a week in advance, and would probably keep for months. You may want to double this recipe because maple butter is delicious on just about everything – from flaky biscuits to Belgian waffles. 

The candied pecans and vinaigrette can be made a week in advance as well. Prepping in advance makes this impressive meal come together super quickly.

P.S. If you love our pasture raised heritage breed pork chops – consider subscribing to the Grassroots Meat Club (ships free in TX, reduced in other states). Each box includes a variety of hand-selected grassfed and pasture raised meats, such as chicken breasts, chicken tenders, leg quarters, wings, thighs, drumsticks, whole chicken, ground beef, kabobs, stew meat, stir fry, cutlets, London broil (top round), beef roasts, beef ossobuco, short ribs, various sausages, pork roasts, pork chops, bacon, ground pork, fajita meat, country style ribs, spare ribs, and bacon!



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