My family loves this dish. The pork is relatively low-fat for meat, and the pickled peperoncino peppers give the whole thing a bit of spicy kick. You can prepare this dish with rib pork chops, as called for in this recipe, or loin pork chops, which look like T-bones and are often less expensive. The one important thing to pay attention to is the size of the chops: make sure they are all about the same size, so they take the same time to cook. I really like pickled Tuscan peperoncini. I use them in an antipasto, with sandwiches, to make spicy pasta sauces, and I especially love to cook them with pork or chicken. They are a greenish-yellow color, about 1 to 11/2 inches long, usually pickled whole with the stem on. You can find them in the Italian or Greek section of the grocery store, usually in a long cylindrical glass bottle.
- 4 bone-in pork rib chops, 1 inch thick
- Kosher salt
- All-purpose flour, for dredging
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 pickled Tuscan peperoncini, plus 2 tablespoons brine from the jar
- 1 large red onion, cut into 8 wedges, left attached at the root end
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 pound mixed mushrooms (such as cremini, shiitake, button), thickly sliced or quartered
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
Season the pork chops with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Spread some flour on a plate, and dredge the chops on both sides. Heat a large cast-iron skillet or low Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the chops, and brown on one side, about 3 minutes. Flip, and brown the second side, 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove them to a plate.
Add the pickled peperoncini and brine. Let them sizzle for a minute; then add the red onion wedges and thyme sprigs and brown the onions on both cut sides, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, and stir to coat them in the pan juices. Season with 1 teaspoon salt. Once the mushrooms have begun to wilt, add the white wine, and simmer to reduce it by half. Pour in the stock, and return the liquid to a simmer. Arrange the chops on top of the mushroom mixture, and cover. Adjust the heat to simmering, and simmer until the chops are just cooked through, about 10 minutes.
Uncover, and remove the chops to a platter or plates. Bring the sauce to a boil to reduce and thicken it slightly, about 1 minute. Stir the parsley into the sauce, then pour the sauce over the chops to serve.