Inside-Out Sausage Chops with Roasted Peppers
Rachael says, "In this recipe, all the flavors of sweet Italian sausage – fennel, garlic and cheese – get combined with sweet smothered onions and are piled on top of lean pork loin chops. My mom’s simple roasted peppers seemed the right side for this meal. If you like sausage, pepper and onion subs at the ballpark or at street fairs, this meal is for you!"
- 4 bell peppers – mix up the colors – seeded and thickly sliced
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) plus some for drizzling, divided
- 3 cloves garlic, 1 cracked and crushed, 2 finely chopped or grated, divided
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 boneless pork loin chops, about 1 1/2 inches thick
- 2 large onions, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- Crushed red pepper flakes (optional – if you prefer the taste of hot sausage)
- 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler
- Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.
Coat the peppers with 2 tablespoons EVOO and combine with the cracked and crushed clove of garlic in a baking dish. Season the peppers liberally with salt and pepper and roast for 15-20 minutes, until tender and dark at edges.
Season chops with salt and pepper. Heat 1/2 tablespoon EVOO, a healthy drizzle, in a skillet over medium-high to high heat. When the pan begins to smoke, add chops and caramelize, browning them for 2-3 minutes on each side.
Remove pan from heat. Transfer chops to a baking sheet or roasting pan and roast in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand a couple of minutes for juices to settle, then serve.
While chops cook, smother the onions: to the skillet you cooked the chops in, add 2 tablespoons EVOO and the onions and place over medium to medium-high heat. Season the onions with salt and pepper, toss in the fennel seeds and combine with the chopped or grated garlic. If you like the taste of hot sausage, add in red pepper flakes. Cover loosely with foil and pat foil down over the onions, smothering them and trapping the juices as they cook. Toss the onions every 2-3 minutes and smother until tender, 10 minutes.
Top the chops with piles of onions with garlic and fennel and garnish with shaved Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, using your veggie peeler to make the long, thin pieces of cheese. Pile up some roasted peppers alongside and serve.