Peppercorn Pork Chops with Warm Pickled Pepper Relish
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Turn off the heat and transfer chops to a plate. Cover loosely with foil and let rest.
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.
Turn off the heat. Add cold butter and any accumulated juices from the plate of pork and stir until butter has melted.
Serve pork chops with plenty of hot pickled pepper relish over top.
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.
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