Beef, Pork and Lamb

Pork Chops Calabrese

Hot cherry peppers are what make this dish of pork and peppers “Calabrese”. If you don’t like spicey, go ahead and omit them. Our lips are sealed. This is a great dish for this time of year when the markets are heaped with peppers.


  • Sea salt
  • Freshly milled black pepper
  • 2 thick-cut, bone-in pork chops or center-cut loin chops
  • 2 red bell peppers, stemmed, cored, and seeded
  • 2 hot cherry peppers, stemmed, cored, and seeded
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
  • ½ cup
  • basil leaves, for garnish


Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 2

Make the chops

Use a non-reactive frying pan. Serve with creamy soft polenta, or at the opposite end of the spectrum, with crispy, golden sautéed potatoes. Either way, the dish is irresistible.
  • Salt and pepper the chops on both sides. Cover with plastic wrap and bring to room temperature.
  • Cut the bell peppers into ¼-inch julienne. Cut the cherry peppers into fine dice.
  • Sauté the peppers in EVOO over medium-high heat until they begin to brown (about 5 minutes).
  • Toss in the garlic and cook for another minute. Remove them to a bowl. add a splash of vinegar and the capers. Add another drop or two of EVOO to the frying pan if it is dry.
  • Raise the heat to high and add the chops. Sear for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove the meat and set aside.
  • Deglaze the pan with the vinegar. Stir up and dissolve all the brown bits. Let it bubble up and reduce a bit.
  • Put the chops and the peppers back in. Cover the pan. Adjust the heat to a slow simmer until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 140°F. Check after 3 minutes.
  • Remove the chops from the pan and let them rest for 5 minutes before serving, surrounded by peppers and potatoes or atop polenta and smothered with the peppers.
  • Garnish with shredded basil leaves.
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