In Milan, a chop usually means veal, but with the rise of good animal husbandry here in the United States, there are all kinds of options available, so I prefer to use Berkshire pork for this recipe. Ask your butcher if he or she has any. There is a world of difference in taste between traditionally and sustainably raised animals. “Frenching” the chops- cleaning the meat off to expose part of the bone- prevents the “eye” of the meat that is pounded out from overcooking before the meat next to the bone is cooked, and it does make the finished chops look extra pretty. You can prepare this recipe without Frenching the chops: just be careful that the meat next to the bones is fully cooked before serving.
The recipe for the Amatriciana sauce makes more than you need for the chops, but it can be used to dress pasta and freezes well.
At Felidia this dish is served topped with a tri-colored salad.
- For the Amatriciana Sauce
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 ounces slab bacon or pancetta, finely chopped
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- One 28-ounce can whole Italian plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, crushed by hand
- Kosher salt
- For the Pork Chops
- 4 pork chops, about 8 to 10 ounces each, 3/4 inch thick, Frenched (ask your butcher to do this for you)
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- All-purpose flour, for dredging
- 1 cup fine dried breadcrumbs
- 2 large eggs
- Vegetable oil, for pan-frying
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
For the Amatriciana sauce, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon or pancetta, and let the meat render its fat until it begins to crisp, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onion, cover the skillet, and cook until the onion begins to soften, about 3 minutes.
Uncover, and add the tomatoes and 1 cup water. Season with salt and pepperoncino. Bring to a simmer, and cook until thick and flavorful, about 15 minutes.
For the pork chops, season with salt and pepper. Spread out the flour and breadcrumbs on two separate plates or sheets of wax paper. Beat the eggs in a wide, shallow bowl until thoroughly blended. Dredge the chops in flour to coat them lightly, and tap off any excess. Dip them in the beaten egg, letting the excess drip back into the bowl. Move the chops to the breadcrumbs, and turn to coat completely, patting them gently to make sure the breadcrumbs adhere.
Heat 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat until a corner of one of the coated chops gives off a lively sizzle when dipped in the oil. Lay the chops into the oil, and fry, turning once, until golden on both sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet, and bake until no trace of pink remains near the bone, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Remove the chops from the oven. If they look a little oily, drain them briefly on paper towels. Spoon the Amatriciana sauce on four plates, and serve the chops on top.