Photo: © Marie Hennechart

When Matt Molina arrived in Italy, he had succulent pork chops wrapped in thin layers of lardo (cured pork fat) at La Locanda della Ribollita in Chiusi. If lardo is hard to find, substitute pancetta (cured pork belly rolled into a log); unfurl the slices into long strips before wrapping the chops.

How to Make It

Step 1

Using your fingers, strip off the leaves from the bottom 4 inches of the rosemary branches and finely chop enough leaves to make 2 tablespoons. In a large, shallow dish, mix the chopped rosemary with the minced garlic and 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Season the pork chops with salt and black pepper, add them to the rosemary marinade and turn to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

Step 2

Wrap 2 slices of the lardo around the edge of each pork chop and secure with a toothpick. On the side opposite the toothpick, skewer each of the chops with 2 stripped rosemary branches.

Step 3

In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the pork chops and cook over moderately high heat until richly browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn the chops and cook over moderate heat until browned on the second side and just cooked through, about 4 minutes longer. Transfer the pork chops to a platter and keep warm.

Step 4

Pour off the fat in the skillet and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the crushed garlic and cook over moderately high heat until golden brown, about 1 minute. Add the wine and boil over high heat, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet, until reduced to 2 tablespoons. Add the chicken broth, grated lemon zest and crushed red pepper and boil until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat. Discard the crushed garlic and stir in the brined green peppercorns. Season with salt and black pepper. Remove the toothpicks from the pork. Spoon the sauce over the chops and serve.

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Ratings & Reviews

dory92064's Review

October 02, 2014
This is a great recipe for family or company -- great presentation and flavor. Green peppercorns add an interesting texture and flavor. Only change to recipe was didn't use lardo, but I think it would add another flavor profile. This is definitely a keeper.

Willwork4food's Review

February 17, 2013
I changed the recipe for my polenta and spinach one. I just used the information on the pork. I did salt and pepper. I marinated them in olive oil, rosemary and garlic. I did not wrap them in lardo. I cooked them just like the recipe said and they were tender and juicy. I popped them on a wax piece of paper in a 300 degree oven that I had turned off for about 10 minutes while i finised the rest. Like I said, perfect. Loved them!

Shell88's Review

January 30, 2013
Delicious recipe. Added mushrooms the last 2 minutes. Will make again.