When most people think of Italian food, they probably picture something that involves pasta – spaghetti and meatballs, fettuccine alfredo, penne alla vodka, manicotti, lasagna, chicken parmesan… the list goes on. But in this rustic Italian dish, there’s not a noodle in sight. Thick, juicy pork chops are slowly braised in a tomato sauce to create a dish that you’ll dream about.
This recipe will taste delicious regardless of what kind of pork chop you use, but it will come out extra-tasty if you use a high quality pork chop. We cook with heritage pork. Honestly when we first started buying heritage pork we were just looking for something healthy (raised without strange chemicals or unnatural food) and humanely-raised. As it turns out, the heritage pigs also have incredible flavor. Some of our friends didn’t believe us that heritage pork chops could taste so much better than industrial pork – until they tried them for themselves. You don’t know what a pork chop is supposed to taste like until you’ve tried one of these!
Anyways, moving onto the recipe… This dish comes from Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, a great cookbook for your collection and the only Italian cookbook you’ll ever need. These pork chops come out wonderfully tender and packed with flavor. This recipe is very easy but makes an impressive meal that won’t soon be forgotten.
Tomato-Braised Pork Chops
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
2 tbsp. Butter
1 tbsp. Olive or Vegetable Oil
2 Thick-cut Pork Chops
12 Sage Leaves
1 c. canned San Marzano Tomatoes, cut up or pureed with their juices
1. Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Trim any excess fat from the edges of the pork chops and dredge in flour. We use bone-in chops, but you can use boneless if you prefer. Just make sure they’re 3/4 – 1 inch thick.
3. Once the foam from the butter begins to subside, add the floured pork chops and the sage leaves to the pan.
4. Brown the pork shops on both sides (~3 minutes). They should be a nice golden brown…
5. Add the tomatoes to the pan and season generously with salt and pepper. Then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pan and simmer the pork chops for 40 minutes, turning occasionally. The tomatoes should reduce to a thick sauce.
6. Transfer your pork chops to a plate. Remove the sage leaves from the sauce and spoon out any excess fat. Smother the chops with that delicious tomato sauce and serve.