Pork Chops in Marinara Sauce

05aChopPastaPlatebfLOI normally doctor a jar of decent pasta sauce when I’m in the mood for spaghetti or what have you, but then I came across a recipe calling for canned tomatoes, onion, spices, and pork chops lightly browned then braised in the sauce until fall-off-the-bone tender and oh! so tasty.

And, by the way, you ARE gonna want bone-in pork chops for this dish – the bone is where most of the flavor is, so don’t go for boneless chops. Save them for cutlets or something.

01aTomatoesbfLOThis recipe is based on “Mom’s Pasta Sauce With Pork Chops” from theitaliandishblog.com, but I’ve made my own adjustments, including cutting the number of chops back from four to two (the chops I picked up at my market were pretty big) and adding extra veggies and seasonings.

•2 thick bone-in pork chops
•Salt and black pepper
•Olive oil
•1 cup diced sweet onion
•2 cloves garlic, minced
•1 red pepper, diced
•1/2 cup wine
•1 (28 oz) can San Marzano tomatoes
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce (or sherry)
•1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
•1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
03dDeglazebfLO•1 tsp dried oregano
•1 tsp sugar
•1 bay leaf

Season both sides of the chops well with salt and pepper, then heat olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the chops and brown for about five minutes before checking to see if the have a nice crust going.

Flip and cook for another five or six minutes, then remove to a plate.

04aAddTomatoesChopsbfLOAdd a bit more olive oil to the pot along with the onion and diced red pepper. Cook for five minutes, then add the garlic and cook for one minute more.

Heat your oven to 325º.

Add the wine to the onion, peppers and garlic in the pot and cook for about 3 minutes, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot.

04cPorkChopsMarinarabfLOAdd the tomatoes along with the oregano, Aleppo pepper, crushed red pepper, sugar, bay leaf and a bit more salt and black pepper to taste.

Place chops back in pot, making sure they are coated with the tomato sauce if they are not fully submerged – this is especially important if you’re making more than two chops.

Cover the pot and place in the oven and cook for about 1 hour.

05bChopPastaPlatebfLONote: if you have more than two chops stacked in the pot, rotate the chops on top to the bottom and the chops on the bottom to the top after 30 minutes.

Remove the pot from the oven and check to see if the chops are tender. If they are, you’re good to go. If they need a little more time, cover the pot and toss it back in the oven for another 30 minutes or so.

Taste the marinara and add additional salt and pepper, if needed, then serve with your pasta of choice and some grated Parmesan, mebbe a bit of crusty bread, and a nice salad on the side.

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