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 tablespoons of dark brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons of Kosher salt
- 1 cup of hot tap water
- 2 cups of 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 tablespoon of vegetable oil
- 1/2 stick of cinnamon
- For the Chops
- 4 loin pork chops about 1 inch thick, each
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of coarsely chopped garlic
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 10 small whole sweet cherry peppers quartered and seeded
- 10 small whole hot cherry peppers quartered and seeded
- 6 tablespoons of sweet cherry pepper juice from the jar
- 6 tablespoons of hot cherry pepper juice from the jar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons of chopped flat leaf parsley
PREPARING 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.
TO COOK THE PORK 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.