Pork chops braise covered or uncovered?

I'm braising pork chops (pre-seared) for an hour at 300 F. Recipe doesn't say to cover or leave uncovered. Any guesses



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boulangere August 31, 2015
Commercial pork has been bred to be so lean that it dries out quickly if not treated carefully. I would definitely braise it covered. I suspect that 300 degrees in the oven for an hour is too high for too long. I would suggest braising at 225, covered, until the meat test fork-tender. You can certainly remove your chops to a plate, cover them with foil and a towel to rest, while you reduce the sauce in the stovetop. The sauce will withstand additional cooking, where the chops will not. Once they're overlooked, you can't uncook them.
PieceOfLayerCake August 31, 2015
Certain pork chops (such as rib and shoulder) can braise beautifully if watched closely. As I would do with chicken hind-quarters, braise them, uncovered absolutely. Often with a braise, the liquid is meant to reduce and become a sauce for the dish. I would QUICKLY sear them in a shallow pan (you don't want to actually cook them), remove them, build your braising liquid in that same pan and braise just until they fall apart. As long as your chops have a enough connective tissue and a healthy fat content, you'll be fine.
ChefJune August 31, 2015
Pork chops really need to be double thick to braise well. If they're thin cut, they run the risk of drying out.
Cav August 31, 2015
Braising in a covered pot will raise the temperature at which the meat cooks. As the recipe is calling for you to braise a normally lean cut, the chop, that has already been hit with high heat, at 300 degrees, which is well above boiling point, I'd not cover the pot. Otherwise you're running the risk of drying the chop out. I'd also drop the temperature by 100 degrees, looking to reduce the braising liquid on stove top whilst chop is resting.
HalfPint August 31, 2015
I have to disagree. The definition of a braise is to fry it first (the sear) then cooking, in low heat, in a covered pot with a little bit of liquid to finish. Cover and finish at 300F.
Cav August 31, 2015
Yes, that's how a braise is defined (with the liquid becoming the sauce). Doesn't mean that you should braise a chop though, and certainly doesn't mean you should boil a chop Which is what a covered pot at 300f would result in. As Harold McGee says (P.264 Keys to Good Cooking):

"Many braise and stew recipes call for temperatures near the boiling point, which will badly dry out all but the fattiest or most gelatinous cuts of meat.

Beware of recipes that call for an oven temperature over 180f / 80c. "

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