Pork Chops with Peppers, Vinegar and Black Olives

These pork chops with peppers, vinegar, and black olives is an elegant and impressive main dish made with brined pork chops that are smothered in a spicy onion and pepper mixture, and finished with a white wine, vinegar, and olive sauce.

Brined pork chops cooked with red peppers, onions, black olives, and garlic in a skillet on stone

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.–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

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 45 M
  • 4 H
  • Serves 4
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Ingredients

  • For the brine (optional)
  • For the pork chops

Directions

Make the brine (optional)

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. Transfer to the refrigerator and cool until it’s below 45°F (7°C).

Cook the pork chops

If brining the pork chops, place them 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. If not brining the pork chops, generously salt them on both sides.

Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the chops generously with black pepper and dredge them in the flour, shaking to remove any excess. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the chops, pushing on them with the back of a spatula to help them keep contact with the skillet, and cook until deep golden brown on both sides but not yet cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes on the first side and 3 to 4 minutes on the second.

Transfer the pork chops to a plate. Add the peppers, onion, red pepper flakes, and 1 teaspoon salt to the skillet and toss to coat with the oil. Cook until the peppers beginning to turn golden brown at the edges, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the wine, vinegar, anchovies, and 1/4 cup water and bring to a simmer. Cook, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet, for 2 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir in the olives. Return the pork chops to the skillet, placing them on top of the peppers and pouring in any juices that collected on the plate. Partially cover the skillet, leaving the lid ajar slightly, and gently simmer until the pork chops are cooked through, 4 to 8 minutes.

Transfer the pork chops to warmed serving plates. Increase the heat and simmer the liquid in the skillet, stirring often, until just 1/4 to 1/2 cup of sauce remains, 2 to 3 minutes.

Taste and, if desired, season with more salt, although keep in mind the olives and anchovies lend the dish some saltiness. Divide the peppers and sauce among the plates. Drizzle each with a tablespoon or so of olive oil and serve. Originally published July 21, 2009.

Print RecipeBuy the Lobel's Meat Bible cookbook

Want it? Click it.

    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.

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    We thought these pork chops were superb. The vinegar nicely balanced the rendered pork fat in the sauce and the slightly caramelized peppers and onion—the combo never fails—added a wonderful layer to the whole dish, flavorwise and visually.

    Although it’s optional, I highly recommend brining the pork, which ensures that the chops will be juicy and flavored through and through. I didn’t add any herbs to the brine—I think the strongly flavored sauce would have masked the delicate aroma. My rib chops were 1 1/4 inches thick and they were close to room temperature before dredging in the flour. I cooked them for 5 minutes on the first side, 4 minutes on the other side, and then 6 minutes after putting them back in the skillet and they couldn’t have been cooked more perfectly.

    As the rib chops were pretty substantial, I served them with roasted asparagus instead of a starchy side dish. It may be unnecessary to add salt. Kalamata olives and anchovies have plenty of salt, and one can always adjust the sauce before serving. I didn’t “pre-chop” the anchovies as they easily dissolve in the sauce.

    I loved this dish! A little salty and briny from the anchovies and olives, a little (or a lot) spicy, and silken with sauteed red peppers, all pulled together with a delicious wine and vinegar sauce. I'm looking forward to making this again!

    My pork chops were 1 inch thick and I used Chardonnay wine. I followed the recipe as presented and ended up with fabulous, tender pork chops complemented by all the other ingredients.

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