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Cedric Angeles Photo by: Cedric Angeles

Sage-Rubbed Pork Chops with Pickled Peach Relish

For the sweet-savory peach relish that accompanies these big, juicy pork chops, Amelia O'Reilly says it's important to use firm, ripe fruit that won't get mushy during pickling.

Food & Wine AUGUST 2012

  • Yield: 4
  • Active: 35 Minutes
  • Total: 2 Hours

Ingredients

  • 2 cups white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns, plus 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 (large) ripe-but-firm peaches, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 20 (small) sage leaves, plus 1 tablespoon chopped sage
  • 4 (10 to 12 ounces each) bone-in pork rib chops, 1-inch-thick

Preparation

In a large saucepan, combine the white wine vinegar with the water, sugar, mustard seeds, bay leaf, 1 tablespoon of whole peppercorns and 2 tablespoons of salt and bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Put the diced peaches in a large, heatproof bowl and pour the hot brine over them. Let the peaches stand for 1 hour, then refrigerate them for about 30 minutes, until the peaches are chilled.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of the oil with the chopped sage, coarsely ground pepper and 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of salt. Rub the mixture all over the chops and let stand for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil until shimmering. Add the chops to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat until browned, 3 minutes per side. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast for 5 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat nearest the bone registers 145°. Transfer the chops to a plate to rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the sage leaves and cook over moderate heat until crisp, about 1 minute per side.

Put a pork chop on each plate. Using a slotted spoon, top each chop with about 1/2 cup of the pickled peaches. Garnish with the fried sage leaves and serve.

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