Heat the oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a heavy skillet over high heat. Salt and pepper both sides of the pork chops and sear them until they're nice and golden, about 2 minutes per side. (No need to completely cook the chops at this point.) Remove the chops from the skillet and set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium high, then throw in the whole cloves of garlic. Stir them around and cook until they get nice and golden brown, a couple minutes. Pour in the red wine, then add the bay leaf. Stir it around and cook, raising the heat if necessary, until the sauce is reduced and thick, several minutes.
Stir in the beef broth (you can add more if it needs the liquid) and add the chops back to the skillet, arranging them so they're swimming in the sauce. Cook the chops in the sauce for a few minutes, then add the balsamic. Shake the skillet to get it to distribute, then cook for a couple more minutes, or until the pork chops are done.
Remove the chops from the skillet once more, then let the sauce reduce a little more if needed, until it's very thick and rich and the garlic is soft. Swirl in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and sprinkle in a little salt and pepper.
Arrange the pork chops on a platter, then pour the whole skillet of sauce (including the garlic) over the top. Serve with Lemony Green Beans if desired.
Snap off the stem ends of the green beans or cut them off in a big bunch with a knife.
Heat a pan over a medium heat and add the butter. (It helps to use a pan with a light-colored bottom, so you can keep track of the color.) Swirl the pan occasionally so the butter cooks evenly. As the butter melts, it will begin to foam. The color will progress from lemony yellow to golden tan to, finally, a toasty brown.
Once you smell that nutty aroma, add the green beans and saute for 3 to 4 minutes so the beans take on a little color. Add the lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper, then transfer to a platter in batches with tongs.
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