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The Perfect Breaded Pork Chops with Merlot Onion Cherry Jam

How to make The Perfect Breaded Pork Chop, with Merlot Cherry Onion JamI’m going to be honest with you, I’m not a huge fan of pork chops. That being said, if I’m going to eat a pork chop, it better be a damn good pork chop or I’d rather just have take out. Over the years I’ve figured it out, mostly after receiving an unsolicited shipment of a gigantic box of high quality pork chops that I needed to figure out how to use.

The elements of the Perfect Pork Chop include: breading that stays on, juicy not dry, and a perfect golden brown on the outside, with a perfectly cooked inside. It took me a while, a few dry chops, and several hours spend google educating myself, but I figured it out, and it’s not that difficult.

First, temperature is key. Not just cooking temperature, but pre-cooking temperature. Most people, rightfully freaked out by raw meat, start cooking meat right out of the fridge. Cold, just out of the fridge, meat is probably about 35 degrees. Throw that in a pan and the outside gets up to temperature considerably faster than the center, forcing you to either serve meat with a raw center or a burnt outside.

Second, is that stupid breading that always slips off. It took me a while (I can be stubborn), but both of these issues are solved with the same step. Bread the pork chops (this also seals in the juices) and let them sit for about 20 minutes at room temperature. This brings the temperature of the center of the meat up helping the entire chop to cook evenly, and it helps the breading to set, allowing it to stay on. Don’t freak out about raw meat sitting on the counter for 20 minutes. Think about the day you bought those chops, picking them up at the meat counter, putting them in your cart, checking out, driving home, and then finally putting them in your fridge, I bet that took longer than 20 minutes. I grew up on a farm, that "drive into town," used to take us about an hour. It’s fine. I also highly recommend this for steaks, and I even read a vintage fried chicken recipe that called for two hours of room temperature counter sittin'. I was too chicken to try it (pun fully intended).

Also, buy a meat thermometer. Seriously. Right now, buy one. You can pick one up at the grocery store for about $10, and if that saves you one overcooked dinner, it just payed for itself. The recommendation for whole pork (not ground) was just lowered to 145 by the USDA, I usually cook it until just before this (about 140) because it will rise about 5 degrees once you remove it from the pan. Knowing the exact right moment to take the chops off the heat will be the difference between dry, average tasting pork chops and amazing, juicy pork chops.

Ok, and lets talk about this merlot cherry onion jam situation. I love homemade savory jams right now, and clearly I like to add booze to my food. I want to make this jam again for burgers, or maybe to stuff in a pork loin. or maybe I’ll just make these pork chops again.

This turned out amazing! I hope you love it as much as I do.

How to make The Perfect Breaded Pork Chop, with Merlot Cherry Onion Jam

The Perfect Breaded Pork Chops with Merlot Onion Cherry Jam


For the Jam:

  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 white onion, sliced
  • 2/3 cup merlot
  • ½ cup died cherries
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper

For the Pork Chops

  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 cups Italian bread crumbs
  • 4 boneless pork loin chops, 1 inch thick
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tbs vegetable oil


  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally until just starting to caramelize, about 10 minutes (make sure the heat isn’t too high or the onions will burn). Add the wine, cherries, vinegar and brown sugar, salt and pepper bring to a strong simmer and cook until the wine has mostly cooked off, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a food processor, puree until mostly smooth, leaving some texture (can be made up to one week ahead of time, heat prior to serving).
  2. In a small bowl, beat the egg with the milk.
  3. In a separate bowl, add the breadcrumbs.
  4. Salt and pepper the pork chops on all sides. On at a time dip into the egg mixture, allow to drain slightly before transfering to the breadcrumbs. Turn and press until the pork chop is well coated.
  5. Set on a sheet of wax paper, or on a plate, and allow to come to room temperature, about 20 minutes.
  6. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium high heat until hot but not smoking.
  7. Working in batches of two (don’t crowd the pan or the pork chops won’t cook evenly) add the pork chops and cook until the underside is browned, about 4 minutes. Turn and cook until the internal temperature is just 145F.
  8. Plate the pork chops, top with the onion cherry merlot jam.

How to make The Perfect Breaded Pork Chop, with Merlot Cherry Onion Jam

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ashley – baker by nature April 17, 2013 um 4:56 am

My mom made SO many pork chops when I was growing up that I just completely ignored them as an adult. But these… wow. I think I may need to re-explore the realm of pork chops – with this jam of course.


Cassie | Bake Your Day April 17, 2013 um 6:23 am

Funny – I have never been a fan of pork chops, or pork in general, actually. I do love this merlot onion cherry jam though…I could probably eat it with a spoon!


Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet April 17, 2013 um 6:55 am

I love your tips on making the perfect pork chop, Jackie! The temperature one just explained a lot to me 🙂 Pinning!


Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious April 17, 2013 um 11:04 am

I’m not a pork chop fan either but I’d gladly make this any day of the week! Plus, I have a meat thermometer so I’m all set for this! 🙂


RavieNomNoms April 17, 2013 um 12:28 pm

You know I am the same way, I am not a huge fan of pork chops or pork in general in most cases. If I am going to eat it, it better look that this delicious meal!


Julie @ Table for Two April 17, 2013 um 7:00 pm

girl, i hear ya! I’m not a huge fan of the "other white meat" but when cooked right and especially topped with that killer jam you’ve got – it’s definitely a star on the dinner table!!


MadSCAR April 17, 2013 um 11:56 pm

Uau this is amazing! love it thanks 🙂


Jen @ Savory Simple April 18, 2013 um 4:38 am

I’m with you. I love pork in general but I almost never work with chops. But these definitely look like they’re worth a go!


katie April 18, 2013 um 7:07 am

I’m totally like you–never really been a big fan of pork chops although starting to become more one with them! 🙂


Kiran @ April 18, 2013 um 9:01 am

I’m excited about the onion cherry jam! My husband would love the added onions in it 🙂


Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry April 18, 2013 um 8:05 pm

Pork chops are so easy to overcook they are not my first choice of meat. But using your tips, I feel as if they would come out perfectly moist. Plus that jam doesn’t look to shabby either.


Tracy | Peanut Butter and Onion April 19, 2013 um 5:28 am

Anything that claims to be perfect, is on my to do list… these really do look perfect. Can’t wait to try it!


Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. April 19, 2013 um 10:01 pm

I feel like my pork is always dry when I make it unless I do pulled pork in a slow cooker, lol! Can I just eat this jam with a spoon?!


Valerie @ From Valerie’s Kitchen April 20, 2013 um 6:17 pm

Great tips! Pork chops really can be difficult but your method is definitely worth a try. I know this jam would complement them perfectly!


Jane April 14, 2014 um 12:20 am

Hi above you say "died" cherries. Should this be dried or diced? Or am I missing out in another kind of cherry? 🙂 thanks!


Jackie April 14, 2014 um 11:20 pm

Dried cherries. I get them at Trader Joes, but a lot of market sell them by the raisins. They are great, perfect in salads too!


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