This dish is inspired by the flavors in Italian sausage.
Make Ahead: Leftover spice rub can be stored in an airtight container for up to 6 months. The pork chops need to be dry-brined (resting in the refrigerator) for at least 1 day and up to 2 days.
- 1 1/2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 bay leaf, crumbled (optional)
- 6 bone-in, 1-inch thick pork chops, preferably heritage (10 to 13 ounces each; see headnote)
- Olive oil (optional)
- 2 ounces washed arugula, for serving
Combine the salt, peppercorns, fennel seed, crushed red pepper flakes and the bay leaf, if using, in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Grind just long enough for the spices to break down.
Rub one-third to half the mixture on to the pork chops, covering both sides, then transfer to a few zip-top bags, pressing out as much air as possible before sealing.
Refrigerate for 1 to 2 days.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat two large cast-iron or ovenproof skillets over medium-high heat. If the pork chops are not heritage, swirl a little oil into the skillets. (If you have only one suitable skillet, heat a large roasting pan in the oven.
Working in batches, sear the pork chips until nicely browned, about 3 minutes per side. Do not crowd the pans. Transfer to the oven (or roasting pan). Check for doneness after 3 minutes; the internal temperature, taken away from the bone, should register 145 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.
Rest the meat while you arrange arugula on each plate. Top each portion with a warm chop; this will slightly wilt the greens.
From FreshFarm Markets manager Juliet Glass.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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