Posts Tagged With: pork chops

Don’t Rush a Pig

 

Pork chops were on sale, so even though I didn’t have meat on my grocery list, I brought a package home with me.  Since there were six huge chops I separated them into zipper-seal bags and put them into the freezer. One morning I left two of the pork chops in the refrigerator so that they would thaw in time for dinner. A few recipes claim that you can prepare tasty pork chops in just ten minutes with only salt and pepper for seasoning, so I decided to see if it would work.

However, when my husband emailed me to see if he could help get anything ready for our evening meal, I googled to see if there were any interesting marinades. Ideas for “Summer pork” included fruity combinations as well as mustard-soy-worchestershire mixtures.  Joel mixed together the ingredients in a list that I emailed to him and when I got home from the office the pork had been absorbing the flavors for about an hour.  All I had to do was heat our stove-top griddle and throw the chops on.

Maybe I wasn’t patient enough. The pork chop did not want to let go of the griddle after cooking for five minutes on one side. I put a cover over the meat to see if capturing some moisture would help it release; no luck.  Eventually, I was able to force the pork chop off and flip it over, but when we cut into our pieces the flavor had not penetrated the meat. Also, it took several days of soaking and scrubbing to get the bits of burnt-on pork off my griddle.

Pork chops take two.

The next weekend, our grocery store’s flyer was advertising their “buy theirs get ours free” offer. One of the items was barbeque sauce. If you purchased a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s sauce they would give you a bottle of the grocery store brand for free. They hoped that you would compare the two and notice that their version was just as good as the “real” name brand product.  Sweet Baby Ray’s has quite a few interesting-sounding flavors to choose from, but I stuck with the classic regular one.

At first, I thought that I would just throw the rest of my frozen pork chops into the crockpot and let them cook until they were tender enough to shred for pulled pork sandwiches. I couldn’t remember if you were supposed to put the barbeque sauce in the whole time you were cooking the meat or if you were to wait and just mix it in at the end. So, I looked it up.

While looking, I ran across a recipe that cooked potatoes along with the meat. Cooking two-thirds of your meal in one slow cooker sounded like a good idea to me. The author(ess) suggested greasing the inside of the crockpot and layering sliced potatoes, sliced onion, pork chops and bacon. Barbecue sauce goes between the layers. You let these ingredients cook on the high setting for 4 hours. Then you are to add cheese for the last 10 minutes. I decided to keep things simple and leave out the bacon and cheese.

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The moisture from the pork drops to the bottom of the slow cooker, mixes with the barbeque sauce, and boils the potatoes. The liquid was a bit runny after the first 4 hours of cooking. But we didn’t eat it until the next day, and when I reheated the mixture it had thickened enough that I didn’t need to add any roux or cornstarch.  A bag of steamed peas added some color to the plate.

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We enjoyed the meal, but next time I might let the meat cook a bit longer, because I like fall-off-the-bone tender pork.

Categories: Food and drink, Pork, Potato, sauces & condiments | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Some Days, The Pieces Just Fall Into Place

Even when I take a list to the grocery store, I usually end up taking several extra things home.  The deals that are “too hard to pass up” often end up sitting in the cupboard, though.

This morning I decided it was time to finish off the “family size pack” of pork; the last few chops were individually wrapped and hidden in the back of my freezer .  A bag of spaetzle that I had bought on a whim at Aldi smiled down at me from a shelf above the kitchen sink, reminding me that I had an open jar of sauerkraut from the same distributor in the fridge.

As I started flipping through cookbooks and searching the internet for recipes, I was pleased that I also had Jonathan apples leftover from my last trip to Lucky’s Market.  My bottle of soy sauce was almost gone, but, never fear! I had kept those little packets from when we ordered take-out from China Dynasty a few weeks ago.

So, everything was ready and set out before I left for work.

4  1/2 hours later, I turned on the toaster oven and slid in a pan of pork chops.  The water was soon boiling for the spaetzle noodles, and I got to work peeling and slicing the apples.

Pork chops really can turn out just fine with salt & pepper in a frying pan.  I was following a recipe from a Cleveland, Ohio cookbook, though, and it called for apples and a sauce:

8 loin pork chops
1/2 cup apple juice or cider
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 T cornstarch
2 apples
salt and pepper
3 T catsup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ginger

I substituted here and there (cider vinegar, Colombian panela), only had 3 chops, and I don’t spell ketchup the same way, but it still worked out all right.

The spaetzle – sauerkraut wasn’t terribly impressive, but that could have been due to the temperature (I pulled it out and let it cool a bit while the chops were finishing.). Either that, or perhaps a bit more butter would have helped.

pork chops with spaetzle

After washing the dishes, we split a piece of my mom’s carrot cake that I had set aside from my birthday celebration last weekend.

As I was hanging up my apron and sliding the napkins to the back edge of the table, I glanced  to the left. Ah yes, one more “too good to pass up” deal of the day was to be given attention.  You know those book sales at the entrance to the libraries? The ones where you usually don’t find anything worthwhile, but you can’t help but look…just in case?

I found this today:

accordion music

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Food and drink, Pork, sauces & condiments, Shopping | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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