These pork chops are so delicious. I can always count on Christopher Kimball, and his reliable cookbook, “Milk Street Tuesday Nights,” to provide interesting ethnic recipes that are “fast, faster and fastest,” in his words, for the home cook to jazz up the weeknight meal. Sometimes we all get stuck in a rut and continue to cook the same mundane recipes each week, using the same ingredients to prepare certain foods. This spicy full flavored sauce to serve with your chops will surely turn heads and stimulate palates.
Dried guajillo peppers are easy to find and are usually available at your local grocery stores. The guajillo pepper is mild to moderately hot and has a dark leathery skin. This recipe also calls for a chile de arbor. These are also known as a birds beak chilies and this small pepper is quite hot. So, if you can’t find either of these there are substitutes. Pasilla peppers can be substituted for the guajillo. If you can’t find the arbor chile or Thai chilies, you can use red pepper flakes instead. The balance that you are trying to achieve is a deep smoky flavor with intense heat. Roasting the peppers enhances the flavors and creates the smokiness that you want to achieve. You can regulate the heat according to your preferences. The chile peppers are pureed with peanuts and other seasoning to create this smoky complex sauce.
This recipe calls for 1″ thick pork chops. They are seasoned with a dry rub of paprika, chili powder and salt. Mine were a little thinner so they cooked rapidly on the stovetop in a skillet. Kimball recommends searing the pork chops then putting the skillet directly in the oven to bring the pork chops to temperature at 140 degrees. Either method will work.
Once the pork chops are cooked, place them on a platter with the sauce on the side. Garnish with a sprinkle of fresh or dried oregano.