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Bone-In Chops Agrodolce with Polenta

Bone-In Chops Agrodolce with Polenta



  • 4 bone-in pork loin or veal rib chops (10 to 12 oz.each), about 1 to 1 1/4 inches thick

  • Kosher salt

  • Finely ground white or black pepper

  • 1 tsp. plus 2 rounded tbsp. light brown sugar

  • 4 tbsp. olive oil

  • 2 shallots, finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp. fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped or grated

  • ½ cup red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar

  • 12 or so caper berries, drained and sliced, or about 3 rounded tbsp. drained regular capers

  • 3 tbsp. butter, cut into small pieces


  • 2 cups chicken stock or broth

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 1 cup quick-cooking polenta

  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

  • 2 tbsp. butter

  • Salt and pepper

  • 4 cups bitter greens, such as watercress or arugula


  • Step 1

    Let the chops rest a bit at room temperature to take the chill off.

  • Step 2

    Preheat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high.

  • Step 3

    Pat the chops dry with paper towels; season with salt, white pepper, and 1 tsp. brown sugar. Drizzle the chops with about 2 tbsp. oil. Add the chops to the skillet; cook until browned, 4 to 5 minutes per side. (If they have a fat cap along the edges, pick up the chops with tongs and brown the fat.) Transfer the chops to a plate.

  • Step 4

    Reduce heat to medium. Add the remaining 2 tbsp. oil, two turns of the pan, to the skillet. Add the shallots and rosemary and cook, stirring often, until the shallots soften, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic, then the vinegar, caper berries, butter, and the remaining 2 tbsp. brown sugar. Slide the chops back into the skillet. Reduce heat to low and simmer, turning the chops often, until the chops are cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes.

  • Step 5

    Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring the stock and milk just to a boil over medium-high. Whisk in the polenta, then whisk until thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan and the butter; season the polenta.

  • Step 6

    Divide the chops among plates. Top with the sauce. Serve the greens and polenta alongside.