How to marinate and pan sear pork neck chops (aka pork collar steaks or Coppa steaks).
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What are Pork Neck Chops (aka Pork Collar Chops)
Pork neck chops are boneless slices of beautifully marbled meat yielded from the pork collar (aka pork neck fillet). The pork collar is the part of the shoulder that runs from the base of the pig’s neck to the tip of the loin (about the fourth rib). Its meat is incredibly rich and flavorful with an extensive fat marbling which produces the juiciest pork chops.
Growing up pork neck chops topped my extended family’s list of favorites for large family gatherings (besides a whole roasted lamb on a spit). My grandmother would serve a heaping platter of them to us carnivores, along with dozens of kafta and kebabpches. We would all gather around a long table under the cherry tree and enjoy the feast.
To this day I get very excited by the prospect of juicy collar steaks for dinner. You do not need to do much to prepare them – no need for a brine as is the case with other pork chops. A simple marinade or a generous seasoning to uplift the collar’s rich flavor is enough.
Best Way to Marinate Pork Chops
A marinade flavors the surface of the meat while the fine marbling ensures that the chops end up moist during their short pan searing stint.
I like to sneak in a bit of salt, cumin and beer in my marinade for pork neck chops – it reminds me of how I grew to love them. You can use your favorite marinade of pick one from our list of Pork Marinade Recipes.
Here are a few useful tips:
- use fresh garlic and herbs to impart more intense flavor (rosemary, oregano, thyme, sage, chives, etc.)
- use flavorful oils – extra virgin olive oil is my favorite, followed by chile infused oil when I want a touch of heat.
- use spices compatible with pork – definitely cumin, caraway, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, etc.
- use an acidic ingredient – anything from citrus juice through wine and beer to vinegar (do not go overboard with the highly acidic ones).
- always use a non-reactive container and marinate covered and refrigerated.
- allow adequate time for the marinade to infuse the pork’s surface – 4 hours to overnight works great.
- always discard the used marinade for food safety reasons (bacteria from the meat’s surface could make you sick).
How to Cook Pork Neck Chops on the Stove Top
- Marinate. Mix a marinade, apply all over the pork neck steaks and keep them covered and refrigerated until about 30-60 minutes before you start cooking. Bring them to room temperature on the counter.
- Sear. Heat a heavy bottomed pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high and add a tablespoon of cooking oil. Scrape off the marinade from the chops. Working in batches of two, sear the pork neck chops for about 3-4 minutes on each side (depending on how thick they are). The juices should run clear before you stop searing.
- Rest. Transfer the cooked neck chops to a warm plate to rest. Loosely cover with foil to keep them warm.
TIP: Pan-seared pork chops are food safe at 145 F internal temperature, however about 160 F is absolutely fine – they will not be dry.
Serve Pan Seared Pork Collar Chops
- To serve family style either place the rested pork chops back in the skillet for a more rustic presentation or serve them on the platter where they rested with a fresh herb garnish.
- To serve individually it helps if you use pre-warmed plates.
- Serve pork neck chops with
Where to Buy Pork Neck Chops
Buying pork neck chops in the US was not all that easy when I first moved here. As much as pork collar is loved and respected in Europe and many Asian countries – it is not typically included in the pork assortment of grocers’ meat cases. Being married to a chef helped a lot in the beginning as Chris would private order us a whole collar or two and carve chops for us.
Eventually our town gained a butcher shop and some of the bigger grocers began to accept custom meat orders. At this time pork neck chops ARE gaining popularity all over the US!
- you can ask your local butcher to cut you a few thick pork neck chops
- you can buy a whole pork collar (aka pork neck fillet) from a butcher and portion it yourself – the average pork neck fillet weighs about 4 lbs and will give you about 8-10 thick collar steaks.
- you can buy pork neck online – consider the Kurobuta (Berskshire) Pork Collar of Snake River Farms (SRF)
Chris and I have always enjoyed the quality of SRF’s specialty pork and beef cuts – several local stores carry their selection. Chris has also ordered meat from them in professional capacity.
The pork collar Snake River Farms offers is of superb quality. We highly recommend it and are proud to be their affiliate.
Other Recipes You Might Like
Pork Neck Chops
- 4 pork neck chops (about 1 inch thick each*)
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- salt and pepper, to taste, for seasoning
Pork Chops Marinade
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, halved and smashed
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 3-4 sprigs thyme
- 1/4 cup malty beer**
- Mix the marinade ingredients together. Marinate the pork neck chops in a closed container or freezer bag, refrigerated for 4 hours to overnight. Bring to room temperature before cooking.***
- Over medium-high heat a heavy bottomed pan or cast iron skillet for 2-3 minutes. Scrape off the marinade from the pork neck chops and season with salt and pepper. Add 1 tbsp cooking oil to the pan and working in batches of two sear the chops for about 3-4 minutes per side.
- Cook until the internal temperature is at least 145 F and the juices run clear. (It is very much OK to continue searing up to 165 F, pork neck is very well marbled and the chops will stay juicy). Transfer the cooked chops to a warm plate and loosely tent with foil. Repeat with the next two chops.**** Serve.
* Pork neck chops are also knows as pork collar chops, pork neck steaks, pork collar steaks or coppa chops.
**Dark German lager or dark Mexican lager (aka Vienna lager) works great. Substitute with the same quantity dry white wine or 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar + 1 tbsp brown sugar.
***If you do not have time to marinate the chops season them very well with salt, pepper and some cumin.
****If you are searing more than 4 chops you can preheat the oven on the lowest setting and rest the pork chops onto a baking sheet, covered with foil until you sear all of them.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 371Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 75mgSodium: 1383mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 23g