Saucy Pork Chops with Italian Herbs

Share

A Satisfying Pork Dinner to Feed the Family

Saucy Pork Chops with Italian Herbs

Saucy Pork Chops with Italian Herbs

Pork chops are one of my favorite cuts of meat from the pig – but they have to be handled with care! Far too often pork chops come out dry, tough and overcooked, which is no fun to eat whatsoever.

One way to keep your pork chops tender and flavorful is to marinate them before grilling or pan-frying. Another option is to sear and then cook them more slowly in a flavorful gravy or sauce – which is what I’ve done here for my “Saucy Pork Chops with Italian Herbs”.

This recipe is actually a “remake” or remodeling of a recipe I found in an old Campbell’s cookbook, using their Cream of Celery soup as the base for “Creole Pork Chops”. But I found their original recipe rather bland and lacking in fresh vegetables and flavors, so I changed things around quite a bit, added more ingredients and came up with what I think is a much more satisfying dish. Why not give it a try and see what you think?

A brief note on choosing your pork chops

Pastured, natural pork versus factory-farmed

I’pastured pigve written in the past about how all of the pork I cook with and consume come from my mother’s own farm, where she raises pastured pigs that we have butchered exactly to our requests. One of the things we always ask for is to make sure our butcher leaves a nice outer layer of fat on the outside of chops to help keep them juicy and flavorful when cooking. Most of the pork chops you’ll find in the supermarket are “too lean” for my taste and trimmed of all of their outer fat. If you can get true pastured pork, know that its fat is actually quite healthy for you – so it’s perfect okay to cook with it and consume some of it, too! Or just trim off the fat when you go to serve the chops.

If you are using very lean supermarket pork, you may find you’ll need to use more cooking oil than I have in this recipe, in order to brown your chops without burning them. But if you can, try to find a market or butcher near you that sells true pastured pork – not only is it healthier for you but far more flavorful, and it’s a more ethical farming model to support.

Saucy Pork Chops with Italian Herbs

My recipe

Serves: 3 to 4 people, depending on your appetite and the size of the pork chops used
Preparation and cooking time: 60 minutes

Ingredients:
4-6 bone-in pork chops (depending on their size; about 1.5-2 pounds)
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 ribs of celery, diced
2 halves of different color bell peppers (yellow, red, orange or purple), diced
Handful of fresh mixed Italian herbs (oregano, basil, rosemary, marjoram), chopped
1/4 cup white wine
4 medium tomatoes
8 ounces dried pasta shapes
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Condensed Cream of Celery Soup
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
Salt and fresh ground pepper

Directions:
1. Season the pork chops with salt and fresh ground pepper. Meanwhile prepare your mise en place by chopping the vegetables and assembling all other ingredients.

chops1

Seasoned pork chops

Mise en place

Mise en place

2. Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil and score the underside of the tomatoes with a knife. Drop the tomatoes into the boiling water for 30 seconds, then remove to an ice bath. Allow the tomatoes to cool to the touch, then peel them and chop them into a rough dice (scoring the skin makes them easier to peel.)

Tomatoes after blanching

Tomatoes after blanching

3. Put a large pot of salted water on to boil; this will be for cooking the pasta.
4. Meanwhile heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a saute pan or skillet large enough to fit allĀ  of the pork chops in a single layer. Once the oil is hot, drop in the pork chops and cook until well-browned on one side. Turn over and brown on the other side, then remove to a plate or dish. Do not overcook or else the pork chops will be tough.

Sauteeing the chops

Sauteeing the chops

The chops, set aside, after cooking.

The chops, set aside, after cooking.

5. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan, reheat and then add onions, garlic and celery. Cook for about 2 minutes, then add the bell peppers. Cook until the onions are translucent and the vegetables are all tender-crisp, 3-4 minutes. Add the fresh chopped herbs and cook for another minute to release their flavors. (Save a little bit of the fresh herbs uncooked for final plating.)

Browning the veggies.

Browning the veggies.

Now they're looking good!

Now they’re looking good!

6. Deglaze the pan with the white wine, using a wooden spoon to loosen all the flavorful “browned bits” into the sauce. Allow the white wine to cook off, then add the Cream of Celery Soup, water and tomatoes. Heat to a boil then bring temperature down to a simmer. By now your pasta water should be ready so drop in the noodles and cook as per the pasta instructions (likely 8-10 minutes).

Adding the rest of the saucy ingredients.

Adding the rest of the saucy ingredients.

7. Return pork chops to the sauce after about 5 minutes of simmering time, turning over the chops once to coat them thoroughly in the sauce. Cook for about 5 minutes more, until the chops are cooked through.

Returning the chops to the pan.

Returning the chops to the pan.

8. Serve the chops and the sauce on a bed of the cooked noodles, topped with the fresh parsley and the remaining chopped herbs.

Time to eat!

Time to eat!

Related posts:

  • What’s for dinner: Week of January 12What’s for dinner: Week of January 12 It's been a pretty cold week here in South Jersey and as such dragging myself out of the house to the supermarket has been low on the priority list. So I've been doing a lot of cooking to […]
  • Easy Ground Pork ChiliEasy Ground Pork Chili An Easy Chili Recipe Using Ground Pork and Beans Ground pork is perfect as the base for a hearty and satisfying chili that cooks up quickly and can easily feed a crowd. It's a great dish […]
  • Cooking catch-up: venison, pork and potatoes (oh my!)Cooking catch-up: venison, pork and potatoes (oh my!) I'm still playing catch-up with this blog after a busy month in February, writing to some challenges on other sites. But a fair amount of that content was coming up with some new recipes, […]
  • Pork Tenderloin Pasta in a Creamy Tomato SaucePork Tenderloin Pasta in a Creamy Tomato Sauce An addictive and tasty pasta dish with pork, mushrooms, and eggplant Tenderloin is perhaps one of the most popular cuts of pork, next to chops and bacon. Tenderloin is often praised […]
Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *