This braised pork may seem daunting, but actually doesn’t take much prep work. Pork chops are a great cut for this dish, but you can also use any of the larger cuts from the loin, such as sirloin, tenderloin, or even pork shoulder/butt. Look for cuts that are meant to be roasted or braised. While this braise is intended for the oven, you can also use a slow cooker and the results will be very similar.
Serve the pork with fresh pasta like gnocchi, pappardelle, or tagliatelle. The concentrated braising liquid becomes a delicious pasta sauce in the end!
This recipe makes enough to serve 6.
2 lbs pork chops, at least 1” thick
1 medium onion
6 cloves garlic
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp tomato paste or 2 tsp tomato powder
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 tbsp peach or apricot jam
2 tsp fennel seeds
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Slice the onion in half from top to bottom. Remove the papery outer layer and thinly slice half rings, about 1/8" thick. Set aside. Smash the garlic cloves lightly and slice thinly as the onions. Set aside separately from onions.
Cut the pork into 2-3” chunks and season lightly on all sides with kosher salt. In an oven-safe 10" skillet or dutch oven over medium-high, heat up 2 tbsp vegetable oil. Pat the pork dry. Working in batches, sear the pork on all sides, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Lower the heat to medium-low and add the onion to the skillet. Sauté 1 minute, until onion begins to turn translucent. Add the garlic and a pinch of salt and sauté another minute until fragrant. Add the tomato paste or powder and cook until the tomato caramelizes and darkens, 2-3 more minutes.
Deglaze the pan with the red wine, scraping up the fond (the bits stuck to the skillet) with a wooden spoon. Add the broth, jam, fennel seeds, and bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a low simmer, making sure the jam dissolves completely.
Arrange the pork in a single layer on top of the onions and place a tight fitting lid on top. Transfer the skillet to the oven and braise for 2 hours, turning the pieces every 30-45 minutes and adding water if the braise looks dry. At the end of 2 hours, the pork should easily break apart and most of the liquid should have evaporated, but still be thick enough to coat the pork. If the meat is not breaking apart easily, continue cooking, checking every 20-30 minutes for tenderness.
When done, remove the bay leaf and break the pork apart with a pair of tongs. Toss to coat in the braising liquid, adding more water if the meat seems dry. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with pasta, rice, or potatoes, topping the pork with shredded parmesan, if desired.