Pork Chops with Kale

November 29th, 2010 · 16 Comments · Pork and Beef, Quick

Very few things make me happier than discovering a dinner that:

a) does not require every pot and pan in the kitchen.
b) runs no risk of instigating a whinefest at the table.
c) can be prepared in the same amount of time (or less) that it takes for my second and third graders to do their homework at the kitchen table.

I’m not sure this last point was what Giuliano Bugialli had in mind when he dreamed up the delicate braciole de maiale con cavolo nero (Pork Chops with Kale) in his 1977 classic Fine Art of Italian Cooking. Unless he was cooking for high schoolers who had a full load of AP courses — because his version takes over 60 minutes and this adaptation takes under 30. Is it as good as it would be if I made it the way he instructed? Of course not. Is it a sacrilege to subject the recipe from a master to my compulsive corner-cutting impulse? Definitely. Will I be corner-cutting this recipe again soon on a night when I must get something delicious on the table quickly? Absolutely.

Pork with Kale
Adapted from
Fine Art of Italian Cooking

Wash and cut 1 bunch of kale into 2-inch pieces. Boil for 15 minutes in salted water. Meanwhile, heat a few glugs of olive oil in a deep skillet. Add 1 garlic clove and cook over low heat, just enough to flavor oil without burning, about 2 minutes. Turn heat to medium and add 4-6 pork chops (butterflied, or pounded thin) that have been salted, peppered, and sprinkled with a little fennel seed (optional) and brown for 2 minutes on each side. Using a metal measuring cup, scoop out 1 cup of hot water from the kale pot and pour into a heatproof bowl. Whisk 1 tablespoon tomato paste in the hot water then add tomatoey liquid to the pork chops. Cover skillet and simmer until pork is cooked through, about 15 minutes. In final 5 minutes, add kale to skillet and let it drink in the liquid. Serve with brown rice if you need it. (The Trader Joe’s fully cooked kind to make life easier.)

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16 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jan @ Family Bites // Nov 29, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    Oh, how I love the one-pot meal!

  • 2 LimeCake // Nov 29, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    I love kale. Such delicious flavours with pork. Yum!

  • 3 ann steinbach // Nov 29, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    I really like the look of this recipe. I can’t wait to try it.

  • 4 Leslie // Nov 30, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Thanks for the recipe – very tasty and quick. I didn’t have ground fennel so I used garam masala. Our usual 3 out 4 ate it with gusto!

  • 5 Teresa // Dec 2, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Great meal and very easy. Thank you! I had never tried kale until you provided the recipes (I still have to try the chips). It’s really very good.

  • 6 Anne // Dec 7, 2010 at 6:18 am

    Love this recipe. Have forwarded it to 3 friends!

  • 7 jenn // Dec 11, 2010 at 8:51 am

    this was unbelieveable!! everyone loved it and OMG was it easy…THANK YOU

  • 8 Sheena Singleton // Dec 23, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Oh, how I love the one-pot meal!

  • 9 Courtney // Sep 12, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    Loved this recipe! Super easy and everyone was shocked at the flavor only being water and tomato paste. The only question I have is when you add the kale at the end, do you add it with all of the water that it was boiling in or do you drain it? THANKS!

  • 10 Amy // Nov 9, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    SOOOO yummy! Added diced carrots, white northern beans, onion. I didn’t pre-cook my kale, just threw it in on top of the pork chops before covering, the 15 minute steam made them tender with a slight crunch.

  • 11 Sarah // Jan 8, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    Delicious! We added more fennel and a dollop of salsa. Thanks for this gem!

  • 12 philip // Aug 19, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    I googled pork chop and kale and this came up first, and then I see it is my friend Andy’s wife’s blog. Even better. We have kale from Barber’s Farm in Schoharie County, garlic from Corbin Hill Road Farm,a lso Schoharie, and pork chops from Costco of East Harlem. Oh yeah, tomato paste from Eataly. Read Set Cook.

  • 13 Quikcookinmama // Oct 17, 2012 at 6:31 am

    I don’t even care much for pork and I LOVED this!!! Will be making it again. Thanks!!

  • 14 VulcanDeathGrip // Feb 28, 2013 at 10:12 am

    I made this last night; it’s the first time I ever had kale! This was delicious. Thank you for the recipe!

  • 15 Susan // Apr 18, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    This dish was delicious! I stumbled across your blog yesterday through Shutterbean and got sucked in. I’m now planning to cook meals from your blog for the rest of the week. :)

    Anyway, I love how this pork and kale turned out. I added white beans to mine and I just rinsed the beans before adding them in with the rest of the kale. I had more leftover liquid than I expected, but found that it gave everything great flavor. Also, I still can’t figure out how to not overcook pork. One day. One day.

  • 16 Emily // Mar 2, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    I’m not a total newbie to cooking, but I just didn’t find this as easy as everyone else. I think some more specifics on the instructions would help me.

    1. How much water and how much salt for the salted water for the kale? I think I might of had too much water and then in the end my stuff was soupy. That could be too because I added the water with the kale. See question #3.

    2. Do you mince the garlic or just put in a big clove?

    3. In the end, do you add the kale and the water or do you drain off the water and just add the kale? I think now it is just the kale.

    I liked this, but I think I can do it better!

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