You won’t believe that this impressive dinner comes together in 30 minutes in a single cast iron skillet. Cacciatore, which means “hunter” in Italian, is usually a one-pan dish made with chicken and vegetables in a tomato sauce. We swapped out the chicken for pork chops, which are just as tasty with the rich mix of mushrooms, red onion, bell peppers, carrots, and tomatoes. Pork chops that aren’t too thick or thin are best in this recipe. Look for chops that are one inch thick—they will be meaty and filling without taking a ton of time to cook. A little tomato paste is a key ingredient in the sauce. It helps the sauce come together in about half the time, adding body and flavor without lots of extra calories. The recipe calls for Castelvetrano olives, which are buttery green olives. You can usually find them in your supermarket’s olive bar, but if you can’t find them, substitute another green olive or capers. A large cast iron skillet is the best pan to cook this dish because it has a non-stick surface and conducts heat well, which is important for getting a great sear on the pork chops. While some people will tell you that you can’t cook acidic foods like tomatoes or wine in cast iron, it’s actually fine to do so if you’re not cooking the dish for an extended period of time, which can give food a metallic taste. This short cook time won’t affect your pan, or the final dish. Serve this Cast-Iron Pork Cacciatore with a tossed green salad, warm crusty bread, and a bottle of red wine for an easy meal fit for company.
1 cup chopped green bell pepper (about 1 large pepper)
1/4 cup chopped carrot (from 1 medium carrot)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon chopped garlic (about 1 garlic clove)
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 (28-oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes
1/2 cup unsalted chicken stock
1 rosemary sprig
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup pitted Castelvetrano olives, halved
6 cups hot cooked bucatini pasta (12 oz. uncooked)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 400°F. Sprinkle pork chops evenly with 1 teaspoon of the salt and 3/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Melt butter in a large cast-iron skillet over high. Add pork to skillet, and sear until deep golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet, and bake in preheated oven until a thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 145°F, about 10 minutes. Let pork rest 5 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, add mushrooms, onion, bell pepper, and carrot to skillet. Spread in an even layer, and cook over high, without stirring, until vegetables begin to brown, about 2 minutes. Stir and cook until browned, about 2 minutes more. Add tomato paste, garlic, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add wine, and simmer until reduced by half, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, and break apart using a wooden spoon. Add stock, rosemary, and bay leaf to skillet, and bring to a simmer.
Reduce heat to medium; add olives, and cook until liquid is reduced slightly and sauce is thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove and discard rosemary sprig and bay leaf. Serve pork and sauce over cooked pasta. Sprinkle with parsley.