Pork Chops with Balsamic Vinegar

Braciola di Maiale all’ Aceto Balsamico

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    4

Appears in

How to Cook Italian

How to Cook Italian

By Giuliano Hazan

Published 2005

  • About

The proliferation of cheap balsamic vinegar has prompted its excessive use. I have seen recipes that instruct one to “reduce ½ cup balsamic vinegar.” For one thing, a half cup of real balsamic vinegar would have been considered a young girl’s dowry in the aristocratic families of Modena. Furthermore, no reduction of balsamic vinegar should ever be necessary. I am not suggesting that only the $150 perfume-sized bottle of balsamic vinegar should be used in this recipe (or any other), but there is no point in using something that costs $3.99 for a half liter either. Look for something in the medium price range, perhaps $25 to $40 for an 8-ounce bottle. You do not need to use much, and it should always be added at the end, off the heat, so as not to lose its precious aroma.

Ingredients

  • ½ medium yellow onion
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 pork chops, about 8 ounces each
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Method

  1. Peel, halve, and thinly slice the onion crosswise.
  2. Put the olive oil in a 12-inch skillet and place over medium-high heat.
  3. While the oil is heating, spread the flour on a small plate. When the oil is hot and a little flour sprinkled into the pan sizzles, coat both sides of one of the pork chops with flour, shaking off the excess. Place the chop in the pan and repeat until all the chops are in the pan. Brown the chops on both sides, transfer to a plate, and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the onion to the pan, season with salt, and lower the heat to medium. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens and turns a golden color, 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Add the red wine vinegar and let it bubble for 30 seconds. Add ¼ cup water, return the chops to the pan, and cover with the lid slightly askew. Cook until the chops are just barely pink at the center, about 5 minutes.
  6. Transfer the chops to a serving platter. The sauce in the pan should be thick enough to coat the meat. If it is too liquidy, raise the heat and cook until it thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the balsamic vinegar. Pour the sauce over the chops and serve at once.