Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Stovetop Pork Chops with Onions and Peppers

This is a delicious yet very simple preparation of pork chops that a beginning cook can use for a meal. This basic stove top cooking of pork chops applies searing of the meat at the beginning, a longer, slower cooking with the pan covered and some liquid added, and added flavoring to the cooking liquid at the end that pairs well with the meat. I used the basic approach described in Mark Bittman's How To Cook Everything, a book which I highly recommend to all home cooks, both those beginning and those with plenty of experience.

Seasoned meat in the pan to sear

After adding the broth and flavoring

Co-stars onions and peppers

Cooking the vegetables in the liquid remaining from the chops

Final prep with meat smothered in the veggies with herbs

2 large pork chops, rib or loin
Fresh-cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
1 large onion, sliced thinly into half-moons
1 large red bell pepper, sliced lengthwise into strips
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 cup chicken broth (or water)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Season the chops well with the salt and black pepper. Heat a medium skillet over a medium-high heat and add the oil. When the oil is just starting to smoke, add the chops to cook about 2 minutes per side. Add the crushed garlic into the pan to cook for about 30 seconds then add the wine. Let the wine reduce to half, about 1-2 minutes, then add 1/2 cup of the broth. When the broth starts to simmer, bring the heat down to low and cover, allowing the chops to cook about 20-25 minutes or until they start to firm. Meanwhile heat an oven to low, about 170F.
You want to avoid overcooking or undercooking the chops but it can be a bit tricky to get it right until you've done it more than a few times. Ideally the internal temperature should be about 145F but with practice you'll be able to tell just how firm that will feel by hand. When you cut into them they should be just pink, not red, not gray.
When the meat is ready, remove to an oven-proof plate, cover with foil and put into the warmed oven. With the liquid and oil still in the pan from the chops, bring the heat up to medium and add the onion slices and pepper strips. Stir frequently and cook until they are quite soft and starting to get a good browning. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of broth and cook until the broth is reduced to almost nothing. Turn the heat off, bring the chops out of the oven and into a serving platter, smother with the onion and pepper, and sprinkle the chopped parsley on top to serve.

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