This dish is so easy to make, and its so good, taste-wise. It’s pork chops seasoned with typical Boricua ingredients and then slathered with maple syrup. That’s right, maple syrup. Burt you can substitute honey, if that’s your preference. Also, in the Rivera family, we love to serve these pork chops over steamed rice with roasted vegetables or a side salad.



4 (1-inch) boneless tenderloin pork chops
12 whole black peppercorns
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon oregano
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
¼ cup chopped onion
¼ cup maple syrup



  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Wash pork chops under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels.
  3.  Place peppercorns, garlic, oregano, and salt in a mortar and pound until crush. Blend in olive oil, and vinegar.
  4. Rub pork chops thoroughly with the seasoning.
  5. Heat an oven-proof frying pan or skillet (we prefer cast-iron) over medium-high heat. Sear the pork chops until browned, 2-3 minutes per side.
  6. Add onion to maple syrup. Pour over the pork chops.
  7. Place in oven and bake uncovered for 10-15 minutes for thick (1-inch thick) chops, 5-10 minutes for thin (½-inch thick) chops or until the interior temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit.  Once you remove from the oven, let chops rest in the pan for 5 minutes before serving.
    Yield: 4 servings.

    Note: If desired, you can also cook the chops atop the stove. In this case,  heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet or fry pan. Add chops and cook over medium-high heat 4-5 minutes on each side till cooked through. In a small bowl, whisked together crushed peppercorn, garlic, oregano, salt, red wine vinegar, chopped onion and maple syrup. Add to skillet and cook another 3-5 minutes, spooning sauce over the pork chops and turning to coat. Serve hot.