From America's Test Kitchen Season 6: Pork Chops and Tenderloin
This Italian-American dish was devised when pork chops had plenty of fat to keep them juicy; the leaner pork we have today tends to dry out and ruin it. But the thought of succulent pork with a tangy vinegar and pepper sauce spurred us to search for a way to make this dish taste the way it should.
The first step was choosing the right chop to use. Bone-in rib chops of medium thickness had the best flavor, and the bone helped keep the meat juicy. Brining the chops in a solution of salt and sugar added moisture and flavor, and the sugar enhanced browning. Cooking the chops and then assembling a pan sauce of vinegar and peppers didn’t give us the marriage of flavors the dish should have, but braising the chops in a vinegar sauce produced chalky meat. We discovered that browning the chops, removing them from the pan to build the sauce, then finishing everything together in the oven worked best to get the flavors of the sauce into the meat. We also ditched the jarred vinegar peppers, which are traditional, and made our own; they were far superior to any we’d found at the supermarket.
For this recipe, we prefer rib chops, but center-cut chops, which contain a portion of tenderloin, can be used instead. If you do not have time to brine the chops, "enhanced" pork (pork injected with a salt, water, and sodium phosphate solution, so stated on the package label) presents an acceptable solution; the enhanced meat will have more moisture than unbrined natural chops. To keep the chops from overcooking and becoming tough and dry, they are removed from the oven when they are just shy of fully cooked; as they sit in the hot skillet, they continue to cook with residual heat. The vinegar stirred into the sauce at the end adds a bright, fresh flavor. We advise, however, that you taste the sauce before you add the vinegar--you may prefer to omit it.