Manolo's Food Blog Manolo Loves the Food!

January 29, 2009

A Good Finish

Filed under: American Food,Cookware,Fish — Mr. Henry @ 8:58 am

finish-job.jpgLately Mr. Henry has been finishing things.

He has not been finishing half-written books, mind you, nor concluding business deals mired in the post-Bushian bog, nor even responding to stale holiday correspondence.

Mr. Henry has been finishing the chops, the fish filets, and the steaks. It’s quick and remarkably foolproof. Indeed, it’s the easiest way to look like a real chef.

Step One

Preheat your oven to 350º

Step Two

Having salted and spiced your pork chop, lamb chop, or what-have-you, sear it in a hot skillet with a bit of oil (and butter, too, if you want to live right). Get a good burn on one side, flip and do the same to the other. Your chop is now beautifully browned but raw in the middle.

Step Three

Pop the skillet into the oven. Depending on your chop’s thickness, this usually should not take more than 10 minutes. Poke it with your finger to feel doneness.

Step Four

Remove and let rest for at least five minutes. Slice and serve. (On a warm plate, if you please. Honestly, having come this far you can do that much extra preparation).


For serious fun throw some sage leaves into the skillet at the turn. Crisped in the fatty oil they are a heavenly pleasure.ironskillet.jpg


On a fish filet Mr. Henry invariably adds a splash of white wine at the turn. Once in a while he adds capers or sage, too. Oh yes, and for a basic meuniere – dredged in flour – he doesn’t skimp on the butter.

Of course you will need a sauté pan with an ovenproof handle. For this operation a good old-fashioned twenty-dollar iron skillet is hard to beat.


  1. According to Mr. Henry’s new friend Jennifer who worked for a decade as a chef downtown, it is sufficient to brown one side, turn and immediately finish in the oven.

    Comment by Mr. Henry — February 12, 2009 @ 7:44 pm

  2. Catching up with posts missed while I was biking through Viet Nam and particularly enjoyed this one. I’ve sometimes used this method; not sure why I haven’t been doing it consistently. Anxious to try Jennifer’s variation.

    Comment by casey — February 22, 2009 @ 12:26 am

  3. I’ve done this with the last two hamburgers I’ve fixed. Perfection. Nicely charred on the outside-perfectly done and incredibly juicy on the inside. Today? I’m about to ‘do it’ to a t-bone.

    Comment by Phyllis — February 28, 2009 @ 4:45 pm

  4. Yes, the hamburger benefits from a good finish, too.

    Last night Mr. Henry tossed a handful of chopped parsley on top of burgers just after the flip, having first let them sit in Worcestershire sauce. Four minutes in the oven at 350 degrees yielded burgers charred on the outside, rare in the middle, but still juicy and tender throughout. The parsley in the pan drippings was pure heaven.

    Comment by Mr. Henry — March 1, 2009 @ 9:56 am

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