Fall meals that take all day to cook are lovely but weeknights are still crazy and it might not be the best time to make that 5 hour chili you’ve been dreaming about lately. You can still have a comforting fall dinner any day of the week though. In fact, I find it much more convenient to whip up easy weeknight dinners during the fall and winter compared to summer and spring. Roasting vegetables and cooking a protein is about as basic as it gets for weeknight cooking. It’s also great if you have a meat and potatoes kind of family. This recipe was designed for those fall weeknights when you need something a little more comforting but don’t necessarily have the energy to put something extravagant together.
It might seem like an unnecessary amount of work to chop up the herbs to mix them together with the olive oil but it is an essential step in the flavor of this meal. The herby olive oil adds such a great flavor to the vegetables and really makes the meal what it is. So while you could toss the vegetables with straight olive oil and season them with salt and pepper, I discourage the omission of the herbs. I promise it’s worth it. Other than that, the oven does most of the work for this recipe. I would estimate 15-20 minutes of active prep time to be safe. I hate recipes that say 10 minutes of prep time and you’re still chopping 45 minutes later. This is not one of those.
The veggies I used were 100% inspired by the farmers market. Carrots, potatoes and beets were bountiful during my weekly visit and I couldn’t pass them up. Their flavors work well together, the colors are beautiful and their cooking times are similar. If you have larger carrots, cut them down a bit so they cook in the same amount as the potatoes and beets. These three particular vegetables have a similar density so as long as they are cut to the same size or thickness, they’ll cook even. Pork chops are a little easier to mess up. They’re easily dried out which makes cooking them a bit of a challenge. I always use a meat thermometer and check them a little earlier than they’re supposed to be done. As long as the internal temperature has reached 138-140 degrees, I will remove them from the oven because the meat continues cooking even after it’s pulled out. This also helps ensure they stay juicy. If you’d like some of the same seasoning on the pork chops that was used on the vegetables, make an extra half recipe and brush onto the meat before cooking. It’s not necessary but it does add an extra depth of flavor which is never a bad thing.
Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Roasted Root Veggies
¼ cup Olive Oil + 2 tbsp.
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 tbsp. Parsley
1 tsp. each Sage, Rosemary & Thyme (chopped)
1 bunch Carrots, peeled
1 lb. Fingerling Potatoes or a combination of small Yukon Gold & Red (halve or quarter any larger potatoes)
3 Beets, cut into wedges
4 boneless, thick-cut Pork Chops
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1 - Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix together ¼ cup of the olive oil, garlic and herbs. Pour over the vegetables and toss to evenly coat. Place in the oven and cook for 30-35 minutes until fork tender.
2 - Meanwhile, heat a large ovenproof skillet over a high flame with the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil. Season the pork chops generously with salt and pepper, add to the skillet and sear on each side about 4-5 minutes each. Place in the oven for 10-15 minutes longer to finish cooking and they’ve reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees. Serve alongside the vegetables.