Caramelized shallots and a dark vinegar glaze turn chops into an extremely flavorful sweet-and-sour dish.
- 4 (3/4-inch-thick) center-cut pork chops (about 2 lb total)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 oz small shallots (about 8), quartered and peeled, leaving root ends intact
- 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
Pat pork dry and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then cook pork (in 2 batches if necessary) along with shallots, turning pork over once and stirring shallots occasionally, until pork is browned and shallots are golden brown and tender, about 5 minutes total. Transfer pork with tongs to a plate and add vinegar, sugar, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to shallots in skillet. Cook, stirring until sugar is dissolved and liquid is thickened slightly, about 1 minute.
Reduce heat to moderate, then return pork along with any juices accumulated on plate to skillet and turn 2 or 3 times to coat with sauce.