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Pork Chops with Peppers, Vinegar and Black Olives

Smothered with sweet red peppers, tangy vinegar, and earthy black olives, this dish offers a satisfying intensity of flavors that nearly jumps off the plate, yet it’s a dish that’s simple to prepare. Halved and roasted baby potatoes make a great accompaniment.–Stanley, Evan, Mark and David Lobel

LC Note

This recipe allows you to choose whether to brine the chops or not. As usual, read the entire recipe carefully before beginning.

Pork Chops with Peppers, Vinegar and Black Olives Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 45 M
  • 3 H, 45 M
  • Serves 4

Ingredients

  • For the brine
  • 2 quarts cool water
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 3/8 cup sugar
  • Herbs and seasonings of choice (see Note)
  • For the chops
  • 4 rib pork chops, cut 1 1/4- to 1 1/2-inches thick, lightly scored around fatty edges
  • 1 recipe Brine for Pork
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh coarsely ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 2 large red bell peppers, seeds, stems and ribs removed, cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rings
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup good-quality white wine vinegar
  • 2 large anchovy fillets, chopped and then mashed to a paste, or 2 teaspoons anchovy paste
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped black olives, such as gaeta or kalamata

Directions

  • Make the brine
  • 1. In a medium saucepan, combine 1/2 quart of the water with the salt, sugar, and your herbs and seasonings of choice. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar. Pour into a large pot and stir in the remaining 1 1/2 quarts water. Cool to below 45°F (7°C) in the refrigerator.
  • Make the chops
  • 2. If brining chops, place chops in a large bowl and immerse in brine. Transfer chops to refrigerator to brine for 2 to 3 hours. Remove from the brine, pat dry and bring to room temperature before cooking. Warm plates in low oven.
  • 3. If using brined chops, lightly salt the chops on both sides. If using unbrined chops, generously salt them on both sides. Sprinkle chops generously with black pepper.
  • 4. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Dredge the chops in the flour, knocking off any excess. When the oil begins to smoke, add the chops, pushing on them to help them make contact with the skillet, and cook until deep golden brown on both sides, but still somewhat raw in the center, 5 to 6 minutes on the first side and 3 to 4 minutes on the second. Transfer to a plate and reserve.
  • 5. Add the peppers, onion, red pepper flakes, and 1 teaspoon salt to the skillet and toss thoroughly to coat with the oil. Cook until peppers are beginning to color at the edges, for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add wine, vinegar, anchovies, and 1/4 cup water; bring to a simmer and cook 2 minutes, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir in the olives. Return the pork chops to the skillet, laying them on top of the peppers and adding any juices on the plate. Cover skillet, leaving the lid ajar slightly, and simmer gently until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of chops registers 135°F (57°C), for 4 to 8 minutes more.
  • 6. Transfer chops to warmed serving plates. Increase the heat and simmer the liquid in the skillet stirring often until just a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of flavorful sauce remains, 2 to 3 minutes. Add salt to taste and divide the peppers and sauce among the plates, placing them over and around the chops. Drizzle each with a tablespoon or so of olive oil and serve.

Note

  • Brines can be flavored with any number of herbs, spices and other aromatics. A bunch of sage, a few bay leaves, a head of crushed garlic cloves, and a tablespoon or so of peppercorns makes a fine addition to the Italian-style Pork Chops with Peppers, Vinegar, and Black Olives. Exact quantities are not too crucial; be generous but not excessive when flavoring brines with herbs and spices — you want to flavor but not obscure the natural taste of the meat.
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