The best pork chops are those that are marbled with fat, as the fat provides flavor and prevents the chops from drying out. For this recipe I used some pork chops from iberico pig, the same Spanish pork that is used to make the famous jamón. The best part of this recipe is the piquant sauce, which was inspired by a recipe of Biba Caggiano. With tomatoes, olives, capers, onions, and just a touch of cayenne pepper, it is loaded with flavor. This recipe is simple but very very tasty.
I’ve cooked the pork chops sous-vide, but you could also braise them over low heat on the stovetop. As you can see cooking the pork sous-vide allowed me to get them nice and tender but still juicy and slightly pink, instead of dried out and tough. Please note that the pink color is perfectly safe to eat, as after 24 hours at 57C/135F you can be sure that the meat is fully pasteurized.
For 2 servings
2 pork chops
1 Tbsp capers (preferably salted), rinsed and dried, then minced
2 Tbsp pitted black olives, I prefer taggiasca, chopped
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
60 ml (1/4 cup) dry white wine
1 can (400 grams/14 oz) cubed tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil
Heat 3 Tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan. When the oil is hot, add the pork chops.
Cook them on both sides until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.
Take the pork chops out of the pan and set aside. Leave the oil in the frying pan…
…and add a chopped onion.
Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the onion is soft and golden, about 5 minutes.
Add a tablespoon of minced capers and 2 tablespoons of chopped black olives, and stir for another minute.
Add 60 ml (1/4 cup) of dry white wine.
Scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spatula to get any browned bits stuck to the pan into the sauce.
Add a can of cubed tomatoes.
Add 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, and season with salt.
Add the juices that will have leaked out of the pork chops.
If not cooking sous-vide, add the pork chops, lower the heat, and cook over low heat until the pork chops are tender, turning them regularly. When they are tender, taste for salt, and serve the pork chops with the sauce. The remainder of the post is about cooking the pork chops sous-vide.
Cook the sauce over medium heat, stirring, until the sauce has a nice thick consistency. Remember there won’t be any reducing going on when cooking sous-vide, so this has to be done beforehand. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and cayenne pepper.
Vacuum seal the pork chops with the sauce. There are two options for this.
If you have a chamber vacuum sealer, allow the sauce and the pork chops to cool to room temperature (or even better, refrigerator temperature) before vacuum sealing.
Otherwise, use a ziplock bag and the water displacement method.
Cook the pork chops with the sauce sous-vide for 24 hours at 57C/135F.
When the sous-vide cooking has finished, arrange the pork chops on preheated plates but put the sauce into a frying pan (preferably non-stick), and bring to a boil, stirring. Cook for a bit longer if needed to get the right consistency.
Spoon the sauce over the pork chops, and serve.
Have you ever heard of cutlets alla Palermitana? It is lighter than its cousin from Milano/Vienna (i.e. Wiener Schnitzel). Instead of breading the slice of meat with egg and breadcrumbs and then frying it in lots of oil or butter, the breadcrumbs are stuck to the slice of meat with just a bit of olive oil and then baked. And so Cotoletta alla Palermitana is a lot lighter. The breadcrumbs are enriched with other ingredients for additional flavor.