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.