Pork Chops with Cheesy Broccoli Rabe Delight

SERVES: 2

A word to the wise: if you’ve never had broccoli rabe before, you may be alarmed by it’s bitterness. I’ll just say this: it’s not for everyone. If you’re not a big fan of bitter greens, use broccolini instead. It’ll cook at the same rate, but is milder and more broccoli-like in flavor. As for the pork chops, the cook time in the recipe is based upon a 1” thick bone-in pork chop. If you’re working with thinner or thicker pork chops, it’s best to use a thermometer and adjust the time accordingly. You’re looking for a pork chop that’s cooked to medium, and has a rosy, light pink color when sliced, that’s not fully opaque but is certainly not translucent. This means cooking them to an internal temperature of around 135F, and then letting the temperature continue to rise by 5-10 degrees as they carry over.

Active Time: 45 Mins

Total Time: 1 hr

98557950

Produce

  • 1 pound broccoli rabe or broccolini

     

  • 6 garlic cloves

Pantry

  • 4 oil packed anchovies

     

  • ½ cup sliced hot cherry peppers in brine

     

  • Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper

     

  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil

     

  • Flaky sea salt

Dairy

  • 3 ounces provolone (regular or sharp)

Meat

  • 2  1” inch thick bone-in pork chop (about 1½ pounds )

1. Season the chops:

  • At least 4 hours before you intend to cook (and up to 12), pat two 1 inch thick pork chop dry.
  • Season the pork chops all over with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon sugar.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 12 hours. Pre-seasoning your pork chops will help combat toughness, and ensure that your meat is seasoned all the way throughout, and not just on its surface.
  • If the total weight of your pork chops is more than 1 1/2 pounds, increase the amount of salt by 1 teaspoon per pound of meat, accordingly.

2. Do some prep:

  • Bring the pork chops to room temperature by letting them sit out on the counter for at least 30 minutes while you prep the rest.

     

  • Chop 1 large bunch of broccoli rabe crosswise into 1½” pieces (stems and florets), discarding just the last inch or so of the stems, which can be tough.

     

  • Thinly slice 6 garlic cloves.

     

  • Finely chop 4 oil packed anchovies.

     

  • Finely chop ½ cup jarred, sliced hot pickled peppers.

     

  • Cut 3 ounces provolone into irregular ½’-1” sized pieces. The varying sizes will allow the cheese to melt at different rates, yielding some crispy cheesy moments and other melty gooey ones.

3. Cook the brocc:

  • Heat ¼ cup olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.

     

  • Add the garlic and anchovies to the skillet and cook until the garlic just barely begins to turn light brown at the edges but no further, 1-2 minutes. Working a few handfuls at a time, add the broccoli rabe, tossing it, and allowing it to wilt slightly in between batches to make room for the rest. Once it’s all in the skillet, season the rabe with salt, and continue cooking until it is bright green and crisp tender, and most of the water has cooked off, 6-10 minutes.

     

  • Stir in the chopped hot peppers. Scatter the provolone over the broccoli rabe, making sure some pieces make contact with the bottom of the skillet but not all. Reduce the heat to low, and cook, moving the pot around the burner as needed to encourage different points of contact, until the cheese is melted and some edges have turned crisp and golden brown (this is called frico and it is the bombbbb), 6-12 minutes. While the cheese melts, you can cook the pork chops.

4. Cook the chops:

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large (12”) cast iron skillet over medium high heat until you see light signs of smoke rising from the pan.

     

  • Pat the pork chops dry. Arrange in the skillet and cook undisturbed until golden brown and and well caramelized underneath, 4-5 minutes. Flip the chops and cook just to lightly kiss the second side (you won’t achieve that same browning) 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat, and add 2 tablespoons hot pickled pepper brine to the skillet. Turn the pork chops a few times to coat in the vinegar-y pan drippings. Let the pork chops rest in the skillet, off the heat for 5 minutes. (If your pork chops are thinner than 1” thick, remove them from the pan at this point so that they don’t overcook.)

5. Slice and serve:

  • Cut the pork chops away from the bone. Slice the chops across the grain into ½” thick slices.
  • Arrange the sliced pork on top of the rabe, right in the skillet. Spoon some of the pan juices from the skillet over top. Finish with flaky sea salt.

Filed Under: ,