Peppercorn Pork Chops with Warm Pickled Pepper Relish

4.6
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If you are a lover of pepper in all its forms, you really must experience this dish. With 4 kinds of peppercorns producing a fairly spicy crust, these tender, moist chops topped with a sweet and sour pickled pepper sauce are perhaps the most flavorful you will ever enjoy in your life. Serve with scalloped potatoes, if desired.

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Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
25 mins
Additional Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
1 hrs 45 mins
Servings:
2
Yield:
2 servings

This recipe is the answer to that age-old question, "Is there such a thing as using too many types of pepper on a pork chop?" Apparently, there is not: We used seven different types of peppers here, both dried peppercorns and freshly diced, and it was amazing. You might have to go to the fancier grocery store in town, but it shouldn't be too hard to find the four different peppercorns used in this dish. Though they are definitely sold separately, I often see them combined as well, which is how I generally like to purchase.

I originally got them to make the always delicious "steak au poivre," but decided to try them as part of a "dry brine" for some nice thick pork chops. I was very happy with the results, but I thought the chops needed something to balance all that peppercorny goodness — which is how the pickled pepper relish got invited to the party. I try not to overanalyze these things too much. If it works, it works, and who cares why? But the combo of the intensely flavored dry peppercorns, and the vibrant, fruity, fresh peppers was a perfect marriage.

And now that I know this works on pork, I think I need to try it on every other meat, poultry, and…seafood? Maybe not, although I'm guessing a fat tuna steak would be quite nice treated similarly. Anyway, I hope you give this a try soon, and do some experimenting of your own. Enjoy!

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Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns

  • 1 teaspoon white peppercorns

  • 1 teaspoon green peppercorns

  • 1 teaspoon pink peppercorns

  • 2 (8 ounce) boneless center-cut pork chops

  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

  • cup chicken broth

  • 2 tablespoons cold butter

  • Quick Pickled Pepper Relish:

  • ¼ cup diced poblano pepper

  • 2 tablespoons diced orange bell pepper

  • 2 tablespoons diced red bell pepper

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 3 pinches cayenne pepper

  • ¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar

Directions

  1. Place all peppercorns on a cutting board and use the flat bottom of a heavy pan to crush them as finely or coarsely as you like. Transfer crushed pepper into the pan.

  2. Make 3 cuts through the fat on each pork chop and season generously with salt. Apply a generous coating of crushed peppercorns to both sides, pressing into the meat firmly as you do, until fully coated.

  3. Transfer chops to a rack set over a pan and let sit out at room temperature for 1 hour, turning halfway through and reapplying crushed peppercorns as necessary. Or, place in the refrigerator for 4 to 12 hours.

  4. Meanwhile, prepare the pepper relish while the chops are dry-brining: combine poblano pepper, orange and red bell peppers, garlic, salt, cayenne, and rice vinegar. Mix to combine and cover with plastic wrap. Leave on the counter for 1 hour.

  5. Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat until very hot and starting to shimmer. Add pork chops and sear for 5 minutes per side. Use tongs to turn chops while you brown the edges for another 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium if the pan is too hot and begins to smoke. Chops should firm up and spring back to the touch. Do not overcook. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 140 degrees F (60 degrees C).

  6. Turn off the heat and transfer chops to a plate. Cover loosely with foil and let rest.

  7. Add chicken broth to the hot pan. Turn heat to high and bring to a rolling boil. Add pickled pepper relish and stir with a spoon, scraping all the bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until liquid in the pan reduces by about half, about 3 minutes.

  8. Turn off the heat. Add cold butter and any accumulated juices from the plate of pork and stir until butter has melted.

  9. Serve pork chops with plenty of hot pickled pepper relish over top.

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Chef's Notes:

You can use just black peppercorns if you wish, but if you use all four types, you will notice a difference in flavor. You don't have to cover the pork chops with peppercorns because it will be fairly spicy, so use as much as you want.

You can use any a combination of sweet or hot peppers you have on hand for the pickled pepper relish. If you want to add jarred pickled peppers and diced onion or scallion, go for it!

If you don't have seasoned rice vinegar, use regular rice vinegar with a big pinch of white sugar and a small pinch of salt.

You can use either olive oil or vegetable oil to sear the chops. Pork broth or cold, fresh water can be used instead of chicken broth.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

449 Calories
31g Fat
11g Carbs
30g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 2
Calories 449
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 31g 40%
Saturated Fat 13g 66%
Cholesterol 109mg 36%
Sodium 2657mg 116%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 30g
Vitamin C 44mg 219%
Calcium 46mg 4%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 608mg 13%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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