Shake up your main course line-up with this hearty, family-pleasing recipe for pork chops in red sauce. There’s nothing better than chops with a hint of smoke – and you’ll get that plus a little zing with the addition of Smoky Aardvark Chipotle-Hab Sauce to the chop-topping tomato puree. Serve ’em up!
Prep Time: 8 min.
Cook Time: 30 min.
Total Time: 38 min.
4 plum tomatoes, cored and cut into chunks
1 medium white onion cut into chunks
4 medium garlic cloves (peeled)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
4 center-cut bone-in pork chops, about 8 oz. each and about 1/2 – 1 inch thick (patted dry)
1 tablespoon grapeseed or other natural oil
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 oz cotija cheese, crumbled
Fresh cilantro leaves
In a blender, puree the tomatoes, onion, garlic, Smoky Aardvark, cumin, and 1 teaspoon salt until smooth (about 1 minute).
Using a paring knife, make a couple of vertical cuts in the silver skin that encircles each chop; evenly space the cuts and try to cut through the silver skin without cutting into the meat.
Season the chops on both sides with salt and pepper.
In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat the oil until beginning to smoke. Add 2 of the chops in a single layer and cook until well browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large plate, turning the chops browned side up. Repeat with the remaining 2 chops. Let the empty skillet cool for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the tomato puree and oregano to the skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring and scraping up any browned bits until slightly thickened (10 to 15 minutes). adjust the heat as needed to maintain a simmer.
Return the chops, browned side up, and any accumulated juices to the pan, nestling the chops into the sauce. Spoon sauce over the chop to submerge. Cook, uncovered, until the meat near the bone reaches 160F degrees or is just barely pink when cut, 4 to 5 minutes.
Transfer the chops to a platter. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper; for added spiciness, stir in additional Smoky to taste. Spoon the sauce over and around the chops, then sprinkle with the cotija and cilantro.