This pork chop dish is perfect for holiday entertaining—it's a hearty recipe made with easy-to-find ingredients, and can even be prepared in one pot.
- 2 cups balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
- 4 center-cut pork rib chops, each about 12 ounces and 1 1/4 inches thick
- 1 large red onion, cut into 8 wedges
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 ripe, but firm bosc pears, peeled, cored and cut into 6 wedges each
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
In a small saucepan, bring the balsamic vinegar to a boil over high heat. Adjust the heat to a gentle boil, and boil until the vinegar is syrupy and reduced to about 1/3 cup. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Whack the garlic cloves with the flat side of a knife, and scatter them over the oil. Cook, shaking the skillet, until the garlic is brown - about 2 minutes. Lay the pork chops in, and cook until the undersides are browned - about 6 minutes. Remove and reserve the garlic cloves if they become darker than deep golden brown before the chops are fully browned. Turn the chops, tuck the onion wedges into the pan, and continue cooking until the second side of each chop is browned, about 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. About halfway through the browning on the second side, tuck the pear wedges in between the chops.
Stir the red wine vinegar and honey together in a small bowl until the honey is dissolved. Pour this mixture into the skillet, and bring it to a vigorous boil. Return the garlic cloves to the skilled if you have removed them. Place the skillet in the oven, and roast until the onions and pears are tender and the juices from the pork are a rich, syrupy dark brown, about 30 minutes, turning everything once or twice during roasting.
Remove the skillet from the oven. Place a chop in the center of each warmed serving plate. Spoon the pears, onion and pan juices around the chops. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar reduction around the edge of the plate.