Oh boy, these Italian Smothered Pork Chops are not for the faint of heart. You’ll need to start getting these ready a couple days in advance. But wow, do they pack a powerful punch of flavor! The peppers give a bit of heat, and placing the thick bone-in loin pork chops in an awesome brine for a couple days, ensure a true taste sensation. The Loon highly approves these chops!
Italian Smothered Pork Chops
FOR THE BRINE
- 3 tbsp dark brown sugar
- 3 tbsp Kosher salt
- 1 cup hot tap water
- 2 cups cold tap water
- 6 or 7 black peppercorns
- 1 onion peeled and sliced into slivers
- 1 garlic clove peeled and crushed
- 1 whole clove
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 stick of cinnamon
FOR THE CHOPS
- 4 loin pork chops about 1 inch thick, each
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp garlic coarsely chopped
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 10 small, whole sweet cherry peppers quartered and seeded
- 10 small, whole hot cherry peppers quartered and seeded
- 6 tbsp sweet cherry pepper juice from the jar
- 6 tbsp hot cherry pepper juice from the jar
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
PREPARE THE BRINE AND THE CHOPS
Dissolve the sugar and salt in the hot water.
Add the cold water and the rest of the brine ingredients.
Mix the brine well and transfer to a large freezer baggie.
Place the pork chops in the baggie, seal it, and gently shake it to make sure the chops are covered by the brine.
Put the bag in a bowl, or large Tupperware.
Refrigerate them for 2 days, turning the bag every few hours.
COOK THE CHOPS
Pre-heat the oven to 400 F.
Remove the pork chops from the brine, pat them dry with paper towels, and set them aside.
Discard the brine.
In a large ovenproof saute pan, heat the olive oil over high heat.
Once the oil is hot, sear the pork chops for about 4 minutes, or until they are golden brown on one side.
Reduce the heat to medium-high heat and brown the other side of the chops for 3 minutes.
Transfer the pan to the oven and cook the pork chops for 3 minutes, or until they are just pink in the center. Internal temp should be 150 F.
Transfer the chops to a platter and cover them with foil.
Add the garlic to the saute pan and cook it over low heat for about 1 minute or until it is lightly browned.
Add the chicken stock, sweet and hot peppers, pepper juices.
Add the butter, basil, and parsley, increase the heat to medium-high heat, and boil the sauce for about 2 minutes.
Return the chops to the pan and turn them to coat them with the sauce.
Place the chops on a serving platter and spoon the sauce over them.