As my summer garden bounty begins, an abundance of long hot peppers appears. I’ve been looking for ways to use them and when I saw some really nice thick pork chops at the market, I knew my chance presented itself.
I had these simple, Tuscan grilled pork chops at a little Osteria outside Radda in Chianti. Seasoned perfectly, char grilled, with a wonderful reduction of sweet onions and spicy peppers lathered on top. I was bent on replicating the dish.
Grilled Pork Chops with Sweet Onions & Hot Peppers
4 pork chops, about 1 1/4″ thick
4 sweet onions, sliced lengthwise
2 garlic cloves, smashed
4 hot chile peppers (mine are medium, you can adjust to taste)
3 pats butter
Handful Fresh Parsley
Slice the onions and smash the garlic. Start about 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and the butter in a large skillet and saute the onions over medium heat until they begin to sweat. Add the smashed garlic, season with salt and pepper and turn the heat down to low. Allow to saute, stirring occasionally for 30-40 minutes until the onions break down.
To develop the rich, soft texture of the onions, you need to saute them slowly. While they cooked down, I prepped the meat, finished the side vegetable and opened the wine! When the onions are about half way done, dice the chile peppers and add them to the mix. Right before serving, chop the parsley and toss that into the onions as well.
This is quintessential Tuscan cooking. Perfect ingredients, simply treated and served together. This is a three ingredient main course and features essentially nothing but the onions as a topping for the tender pork chops. The sweetness of the onions contrasts great with the fat in the meat and the peppers give a little zing.
As I mentioned, we drank the Il Palazzone Rosso del Palazzone with this dish. You could easily pair Chianti Classico, Brunello, Merlot, or Zinfandel with this.
Tutti a Cucina!
John M. Fodera is the Founder & Publisher of the website TuscanVines, one of the leading authorities on Tuscan and Italian wine in the United States. Drawing on decades of tasting experience including visits to the premier wine regions of Tuscany, Veneto, Umbria, Lazio, Champagne, Bordeaux, Alsace, Napa and Sonoma; Tuscan Vines focuses mainly on Italian wine and creating original recipes that mirror the Italian culture.