4 (3/4-inch-thick) center-cut pork chops
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 small shallots, peeled and finely diced
2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1. Pat the chops dry and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper
2. Heat oil in a cast iron skillet over high heat until wisps of smoke just begin to appear
3. Add the shallots, quickly stir to brown, and push to outside edges of the pan
4. Add the chops, and sear each side about 3 minutes
5. Lift the chops from the skillet and transfer to a plate
6. Reduce the heat to medium and add vinegar, sugar, and remaining salt and pepper to shallots in skillet. Stir constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved and the liquid is thickened slightly (Cook’s note: This usually takes only about 1 minute, so you have to work quickly)
7. Return the chops and any drippings on the plate to the skillet. Turn the chops to coat well with sauce.
8. Cook until the meat is cooked through, or internal temperature reaches at least 145 degrees F, about 3 minutes total.
9. Lift the chops from the skillet and transfer to the serving dishes.
10. Turn heat to high setting and boil the sauce until reduced to a syrup consistency, 1 to 2 minutes, and spoon over the chops.