Pit the cherries, and place in a small bowl with the brandy. Set aside.
Pat the pork chops dry, and season w salt (omit the salt if you already brined the pork chops) and pepper. Heat the oil over medium high heat. Carefully add the chops, flipping frequently, untilboth sides have developed a light brown crust. (If the oil starts to burn or smokes incessantly, reduce the heat to medium low. This should take about 5 min.
Add 1 tbsp of the butter and the thyme in the last few minutes of cooking.
Remove the chops from the heat and rest, covered w foil.
While the chops are resting, add the cherries and sugar (if you are using) to the skillet, and return to medium high heat. Scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until the mixture is reduced to 1/4 cup, and the mixture is syrupy. (Be careful; the brandy may ignite!) Off the heat, mix in the balsamic vinegar and the remaining butter. Pour over the chops and serve. (The recipe may be doubled or quadrupled without problems).
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