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fed up with pork....

Ok so here is my dilemma: My husband absolutely adores pork chops and so I find myself cooking them quite a bit, the problem is that I basically have two recipes that I use and trust: One is to brush a mixture of mayo and ketchup on the chops and lightly coat with breadcrumbs then bake, the other is to season (depends on my mood) and fry in a cast iron with lots of lard.....Basically what I need is different recipes before I scream out of sheer monotony and frusturations. Also, please no high priced or "specialty" ingredients as we are a family of 6 on a one income budget....Thanks everyone!!!

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      1. Fire up the grill ~~ Whatcha watin on???

        1. Brown chops, set aside. Slice up onions, brown in same pan with fat of your choice. Add chops back along with sage/rosemary. Add water to third way up chops. Cook for half hour over low heat. Add two sliced apples, cook for another hour. Serve chops with onions and apples as sauce.

          3 Replies
          1. re: escondido123

            Thank you everyone....these all sound delicious, and Uncle Bob, the grill is entirely my husbands domain....I am not allowed to touch it :)

            1. re: lilpixy

              Well since he is the Pork Chop Lover, ..and 'King of Da Grill'....Maybe you should suggest that he.... connect the dots? ~~~~ Mmmmm Mmmmmmm so many possibilities for sides!!

              Have Fun!!

            2. re: escondido123

              That's one of my favorite pork chop methods. You can change it up by varying the liquid - instead of water, try beer (various types), or wine, or cider. Or milk (I leave out the apple when I do that). All different, all good.

            3. Do you brine them? That helps make the texture fantastic, and much less boring. ALong with other people, a few ideas:

              Brown on both sides, remove. Deglaze with bourbon, add honey and mustard and stir, then return the meat and finish in the sauce.

              Brown on both sides, remove. Sautee some shallots or onion along with a diced red pepper. Once they are softened, throw in a handful of chopped peppadew peppers (just a few add a LOT of flavor, so you don't have to worry about price) or roasted red pepper. Add a bit of broth or white wine, stir in some chiffonaded basil, add the chops and finish in that sauce.

              Or, one of the most flexible: mix up your favorite jam or jelly with some cayenne and a splash of vinegar to thin it. Brown the chops, glaze with your jam or jelly mix, and finish in the oven.

              3 Replies
              1. re: katecm

                No, I don't "brine" them...In all honesty I am not even sure how to go about doing so.

                1. re: lilpixy

                  SO easy. Mix cold water with salt until it tastes like the sea. I usually throw in a few teaspoons of sugar too, since pork likes sweetness. Immerse the chops and let them sit for, oh, at least an hour. Before you cook then, rinse them with fresh water. Pat them dry thoroughly before you cook them!

                  1. re: lilpixy

                    So many commercial pork products, like chops, are injected with a salt & water solution that you don't need to brine them.

                2. Thick sliced pork in pan. Cover with diluted tomato soup. Add thin sliced onions on top. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 to 45 minutes. Sauce should barely be liquid.

                  For Indian, add curry to the soup. For British, add worstershire sauce and some cheese. Chinese is soy sauce with brown sugar and a can of pineapple bits. Ginger is a plus.

                  All tried and true favorites of a family of 4 with one income in the 60's and 70's. And still used today.

                  1. what about other, cheaper, more flavorful cuts of pork? like belly, ribs and boston butt? i got ribs yesterday for $1.69 pp. pork chops and loin have become so lean they are utterly flavorless to me. not worth the extra expense.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                      That is also an option, we (on occasion) buy pork ribs which I put in the slowcooker, smother in onion rings and pour bbq sauce over....used to have a recipe for home made bbq sauce but lost it in our last move, as we move on average of every 9 months to a year recovery is looking grim.

                      1. re: lilpixy

                        good grief, that's a lot of moving.

                        yesterday's ribs i browned in a dutch oven. removed them all and browned onion halves. then added carrots, garlic and some tomatoes. put ribs back in, covered with 2 bottles of beer, orange juice and water. simmered for 2 hours. reduced the cooking liquid. added some sambal sauce, soy sauce and apricot jam. just finished dinner> krazee good and super easy.

                        1. re: hotoynoodle

                          Yes, it is quite a bit of moving and we are in the process of packing and moving again at the end of April, all of these recipes sound scrumptious and the tip on brining was very much a help. My last resort was almost to put my foot down and refuse to by pork chops anymore, although I think hubby would be a very sad boy if I did that.

                          1. re: hotoynoodle

                            This recipe sounds fantastic, and I was just searching for a recipe for my country style ribs. How much carrots, tomatoes, orange juice, and apricot jam did you use? I am trying to figure out how sweet this dish is. Thanks!

                            1. re: ceb

                              i never measure, but about 1/2 cup of oj, for acid, and just a few dollops of the jam. with the amount of sambal, it was more spicy than sweet. i don't care for "sweet" sauces.

                      2. Always brine pork chops. Google "Brining 101" for an article on the formulas to use and what is happening when you brine. You will be very surprised how much juicier they are. Use pork chops that are 3/4 to 1 inch thick. The thin ones are to hard to keep from overcooking.

                        I put pepper and garlic powder on the chops (no salt). I dredge them in flour then dip them in a milk egg mixture and then dredge them in breadcrumbs (yeah the canned ones. I use the Italian ones). Saute them in hot oil for 32 minutes on each side to brown the breading then put them on a rack in a jelly roll pan and put them in a preheated 350° F oven for about 8 - 10 minutes. It would be nice to measure them and take them out at around 150 °F. Less if you don't mind medium pork. Serve with mashed potatoes and white gravy and green beans. If I couldn't get them breaded, I wouldn't eat pork chops. That's like drinking unsweetened ice tea.

                        If he likes pork, he will love oven barbecues pork tenderloins. He can do them on the Weber, too but it is easier to get them overdone.

                        There is a difference between pork tenderloin and pork loin. Make sure you get a tenderloin. At my store, they usually come two at a time in a cryovac plastic bag. The two tenderloins probably won’t weigh more than 2.5 pounds.
                        Trim the tenderloin of the silverskin and tie up the thinner tail. Here is a link to a video showing how to do that. http://video.about.com/southernfood/R...
                        This is optional but I recommend tying your tenderloin with string to maintain its round shape. Here is a link describing that process. http://allrecipes.com//HowTo/tying-ro...
                        Put your tenderloin(s) in a zip lock bag and pour in 6-7 tablespoons of soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. As you close the zipper, squeeze out as much of the air as possible. Roll the tenderloin around to distribute the soy sauce and to dissolve the sugar. Put the bag in the refrigerator and let soak for 45 minutes to an hour. This process is called brining. Yes you can brine with soy sauce. It puts water and flavor inside the meat. I highly recommend it for pork or chicken.

                        After 1 hour rinse and pat dry the tenderloin. Season with pepper and garlic powder. Sear tenderloin in a med high stainless steel frypan with a little oil for 3 minutes on each side.
                        Put the tenderloin in a 350 degree oven until it reaches an internal temperature of 135 degrees as monitored by a digital temperature probe. If you don’t have a probe, you can bake it for about 15 minutes.
                        At this point, put your favorite barbecue sauce on the tenderloin and continue baking to 150 degrees or about 5 more minutes. Take the tenderloin out of the oven and wrap in aluminum foil to rest for 10 minutes.
                        Slice in ¼ inch slices and serve.
                        You could serve any kind of rice with this. Even Zatarains yellow rice mix in a box. A nice salad would go nicely. Some bbq beans. We will pretend you made them form scratch rather than buying a can of Bush’s.

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: Hank Hanover

                          thanks to all of you for your help, I am new to CH and am just enamored with it, as few people I know "cook" or at least to my taste. I appreciate you all giving me your recipes and advice. also, Hank...hahahahaha for the bean comment m'dear

                          1. re: Hank Hanover

                            We never brine chops and they turn out tender. My husband is meticulous about timing on the grill, and they are always moist. Considering that many pork products are already injected, brining is unnecessary, IMO. Same for the loins we buy. I never get the tenderloin because they are much more expensive in our markets.

                            1. re: wyogal

                              I think it's criminal what's happened to pork over the past 25 years or so. First they bred the fat out of it so it would be "lean" and the marketing people could call it "the other white meat." Then, because the fat-less pork was tough and had no flavor, they "enhanced" it with up to 25% water and as much sodium as there is in a can of tuna fish. Didn't hurt any that markets could then charge pork prices for the increased water weight. Oh. And there are nearly always preservatives in those "enhanced" chops to give them a longer shelf life. I realize that not everyone has the option, but I do and I just don't buy that stuff. I'll add the water and spices I choose to add, and I nearly always brine my chops--not for tenderness, but for the same reason I brine chickens or marinate beef. I like the flavor.

                              As an aside, I've spent the past two months in Guatemala where the pork is as it used to be. I had a pig roast party a couple of weeks ago and it was the best pork I've ever eaten in my life. Granted, I give lot of credit to the chef who seasoned and basted to perfection. But he had a great (fatty) pig to start with.

                                  1. re: JoanN

                                    I'm glad you have all those options. I am just not able to get to Guatemala this week.

                                    1. re: wyogal

                                      As I said in my initial post, I realize not everyone has access to unenhanced pork. I'm fortunate to have it available to me not only here in Guatemala, but home in NYC as well. I'm guessing from your handle that you live in Wyoming? Hard to believe unenhanced pork isn't available there. Just shows how pervasive the conglomerates can be.

                            2. Season some bone-in pork chops, dredge in flour, and brown on both sides in a Dutch oven. Pour in some hard cider of your choice to about halfway up the chops and add some sauteed onions, herbs of your choice (I like some thyme, marjoram, rosemary, and a little sage), and a couple cloves. Cover and braise in a 275-300 degree oven until the chops are fork tender, turning over occasionally. You can also add a little milk to the gravy about halfway through cooking. Serve over egg noodles, mashed potatoes, polenta, or any carb you want. One of my favorite comfort recipes!

                              1. I enjoy brining them in a salt mixture with thyme, black pepper etc... delicious.

                                1. I'd agree with getting bored with having only a couple of ways to make something your family likes but you are tired of. I have ruined my fair share of pork chops over the years. The fat ones without bones can turn out very non tender when probably done wrong so I am apprehensive sometimes to do them.

                                  We were at our son's house-he was @ work, dinner was all mine to create. Looked in his freezer and saw a nice pack of boneless fat round chops, 6 or 8 or them. Since there'd be 3 or 5 little ones, meaning under 7, and 3 or 4 adults, wasn't sure what to do but brought out the crock pot just in case.
                                  Put them in there seasoned on both sides, cut up carrots and potatoes, plus the dreaded creamy mushroom soup and creamy chicken soup cans. The meat was so tender, that there was fully enough for all of us and although our DD made a face at such a strange and stupid way to prepare a dinner, we all loved it.
                                  I know this wouldn't have been the recipe you'd liked to have received but it worked and worked nicely. Sometimes you gotta cave to convenience where little ones are going to be your judge and jury.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: iL Divo

                                    My mother's go-to recipe for 'Mustard pork chops' was to slather the chops with yellow mustard, brown them, and add a can of chicken rice soup. Simmer for about 40 minutes and serve with mashed potatoes.
                                    My comfort food version is to slather them with the yellow mustard, brown and add a can of mushroom soup. Simmer 40 minutes and serve over wide egg noodles. The mustard gets all stuck in the pan, but mixes up into the gravy. I know there are a million ways to change it up to be hoity toity without the canned soup, but then it's not my family recipe anymore. Even my food snob 22 year old son still loves this dish. If I don't want to watch him pick out mushroom bits for the entire meal, I just run my stick blender through the soup first.

                                  2. Pork chops or cutlets are my go to real quick meal, I stop by the store on the way home from work and get the Pork and a veg. Get home put on noodle water to boil, heat skillet (cast iron or non stick, and while pans are heating wash the veg. Put thick egg noodles in to boil. Shake quite a bit of Bell's Poultry Seasoning on both sides of chops. Add a pat of butter to the pan for each chop. Put chops in and while browning slice and rinse the veg. Turn over chop, put green beans or broccoli on a a plate without shaking off the water. Cover tightly with Saran Wrap and microwave on high for about 3 minutes. (probably a bit longer as you would have more to cook with 6 people. Drain and butter noodlesand serve it all. The whole meal only takes as long to make as it takes to boil the water and cook the pasta. It is also the yummiest way I have cooked pork chops.

                                    1. Here are a couple of recipes that I've enjoyed:


                                      We frequently do a quick marinade of olive oil, lemon juice, and a little bit of soy sauce for pork chops. Mom used to do hers in Italian dressing.

                                      1. If you're open to other cuts of pork that makes it easier. I buy what's on sale, and these days that seems to be mainly pork. If I have the nice fat boneless chops or a pork loin I cut into cubes, marinate with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and oregano. Then I thread them on skewers and make souvlaki, along with tzatziki , pitas and greek rice. You can also fry them and do a pan sauce with shallots or onions, mustard, thyme, white wine and cream. I do this mainly after holidays when I have a little wine and cream left over. I also make stuffed loin roasts which my husband loves.Sometimes simple like the stuffing I use for turkey or chicken with bread, summer savoury, onions and butter or I make something up from bits and pieces I have around: one chorizo sausage or Italian, plus dried apricots and the last piece of cornbread etc. Good for using leftover bits of cheese too small for anything else.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: dianne0712

                                          We cube up the boneless pork chops and marinate them in TJ's Soyaki. Pork is excellent cubed up on skewers.

                                        2. If it's fried pork that your husband loves, he might like carnitas. Carnitas can be made with cheaper cuts of pork, marinate first in some orange juice and/or a couple of Tbls. of left over beer, and then follow the slow cook recipe. Any leftovers can go into burritos, with a slice of cheese melted over the burrito and some chopped tomatillos. (If you have any gardening space this move, tomatillos grow easily and are really productive plants.

                                          I like the Carnitas recipe on the Homesick Texan food blog.

                                          1. Pork makes a great satay too.

                                            1. Schnitzel, aka pounded, breaded, pan-fried meat. Impossible not to love. With the pan sauce of your choice, of course. I like lemon/caper with chopped hardboiled egg but anything from honey mustard to bbq to butter and herbs works.
                                              Yes, it takes time to pound the meat flat, but you'll make that up in cook time.

                                              1. buy them thick and you can stuff them with all sorts of deliciousness!

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: mattstolz

                                                  I think I'm going to try the carnitas idea as soon as I go to the grocery store....all the rest of the ideas are amazing as well. Once again, thanks to ALL of you

                                                2. Try slicing the pork thin and and marinating overnight in some sesame oil, soys sauce and bit of lime juice, some sugar, a handful of minced ginger and garlic, and a half teaspoon of corn starch. Heat some peanut oil in a very hot pan or wok and stir fry pork for about a minute or until cooked through. Remove pork and throw in whatever vegetables you have around and then add the pork back in the pan along with the reserved marinade. The corn starch should thicken your sauce. Serve on rice. With good veggies and strong flavors, you should be able to stretch the pork over more meals. It's been good for my food budget!

                                                  1. 1.) Make up a small quantity of bread stuffing with sage and onion (Stove Top or old bread, either one works). Put it in a baking dish. Lay the pork chops on top. Put a big slice of onion on each pork chop. Bake (I cover with foil for first half of baking time). 2) Brown the pork chops. Put in baking dish. Dump in entire contents of can of sauerkraut. Cover. Bake. 3) Put pork chops in baking dish. Sprinkle generously with soy sauce and garlic powder. Pour over about half a can of crushed pineapple. Bake.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: Querencia

                                                      Querencia, is there anything that can be used as a substitute for the sauerkraut? This recipe sounds delicious....with that one exception.

                                                      1. re: lilpixy

                                                        This looks like 3 separate recipes, not one big one. For #2, instead of sauerkraut, try a jar of red cabbage (with or without apple added). I make that all the time in winter - yummy (at least if you like red cabbage).

                                                    2. lightly saute pork chops in a large saute / fry pan, sprinkle a bit of paprika for colour.
                                                      Thinly slice an orange, or use mandarins, peeled and separated into segments
                                                      or french cut an orange for segments. But the rind will add flavour
                                                      (grate some orange rind if you can for added flavour if using the orange segments)
                                                      Add 2-3 Tablespoons of orange juice concentrate to chops (or to taste)
                                                      Add 2 Tablespoons corn starch and a cup of water (slurry)
                                                      Add sliced oranges.
                                                      Cover and Simmer til pork is cooked thru 10 mins approx
                                                      Sauce will thicken a little. Add more liquid if necessary in simmer.
                                                      Serve with rice or brussel sprouts or shredded steamed cabbage & Butter
                                                      or roasted vegs.

                                                      1. My favorite:
                                                        Slices of pork shoulder butt (about 1/2" thick...and for god's sakes, DON'T brine them!!!);
                                                        lightly season both sides with salt & pepper and sear them on a hot pan in just a bit of oil;
                                                        drain the oil and add 3/4 cups water or a malty beer (maibock or dopplebock works great),
                                                        2 cloves of chopped garlic;
                                                        a few Tblsp of chopped onion;
                                                        a dash of salt and some freshly ground pepper;
                                                        some celery powder or celery seed (but not celery salt);
                                                        a very slight pinch of sugar;
                                                        and a Tblsp of Hungarian Noble Rose Paprika (for which there's no substitute).

                                                        Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down _immediately_ to a simmer and cover tightly, simmering until the liquid is practically gone (it'll probably take 45 min to an hour but just let it go until almost all is evaporated).

                                                        Serve the meat on a good hard roll or between slices of Jewish rye bread, or on a plate with a side of sauerkraut or (my favorite) a side of cooked French or Pardina lentils with a topping of onions browned in butter.
                                                        The meat turns out very succulent, richly flavored by the broth which, in the end becomes very concentrated.
                                                        One of my very favorite ways to do pork. It makes you want to thank the pig.

                                                        1. I just got some thinly sliced sirloin cutlets the other day. I dipped them in flour, then egg whites and dijon mustard, and then a mixture of panko and shredded asiago cheese. I sprayed them with canola oiI (can), and baked them in the oven, then served them with a tomato sauce and pasta.

                                                          1. Update: I have tried several of these recipes, big hit with the familia in 9 out of ten cases, sorry I haven't posted lately...feel like I'm running like a chicken with my head cut off

                                                            1. I love a classic pork adobo (in the Filipino tradition): braise them in soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, onions, and bay leaves until perfectly tender and delightful. (There are other variants, but that one is mine). Shouldn't take long, either, and doable both with chops and other cuts (or even things other than pork - others love chicken or fish done this way).

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: kawatan

                                                                I have a huge problem with pork adobo. I could eat an entire batch all by myself! If that's a problem?? Not sure ...

                                                              2. Pork chops in sauerkraut. Bread pork chop with flour, salt and pepper. Sear in hot oil. Place sauerkraut on bottom of casserole dish, bury the pork chops in the sauerkraut. Cover. Bake 350F ~ 30-45 mintutes. Serve!

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: Crockett67

                                                                  For a good variation, rinse & drain the sauerkraut, then add in some white wine & chicken broth before cooking, plus some chopped onion and maybe a couple of juniper berries. Some chunks of slab bacon and/or knockwurst/kielbasa/good hot dogs added in are good additions too. Serve with boiled potato. Bon appetit!

                                                                2. We do this recipe relatively often:

                                                                  It's a recipe for the grill, but I cook it under the broiler when I plan it for a night my husband gets home too late to bbq.

                                                                  1. Well, I guess you could use Jacques Pepin's technique of larding a pork loin. It is basically cutting strips of fat and skewering it through the roast several times.

                                                                    Here is a link to a video of someone larding a roast. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKDN28...

                                                                    You could bard it, too, which is wrapping it with fat.

                                                                    1. I love the Cook's Illustrated Smothered Pork Chops recipe. No exotic ingredients, and you can easily use dried thyme and parsley in place of fresh, just cut back the amount.


                                                                      1. One of our favorites follows the grill suggestion above (if it's gas, it's like cooking on your stovetop but better x1000). I marinate in a throw-together mixture of the juice of one large can sliced, juice-packed pineapples (which also go on the grill later), some soy sauce, a bit of grated ginger (I keep a "hand" of ginger in the freezer, which I just peel as I need it, then wrap back up and back into the freezer), a bit of honey or sometimes molasses,usually a bit of sriracha (cheap, available at Walmart even in bumblef... er, rural Texas), and occasionally a bit of vinegar. Oh, and s&p. I don't marinate for too long, just basically long enough to leave the cold chops in the marinade on the counter and bring to room temperature, about an hour or so.

                                                                        Meanwhile, mix a bit of honey, melted butter and sriracha and coat the pineapple slices with this mixture.

                                                                        Grill the chops until your preferred doneness, and throw the pineapple slices on for long enough to get good grill marks on each side. I serve with coconut rice - just white rice cooked with coconut milk for the liquid, a bit of chicken boullion (for the msg), and frozen peas thrown in during the last 5 minutes or so.

                                                                        Another of our favorites when pork chops are on sale is sweet & sour pork - for the most part I use this recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/sweet-an... But I use (again) the juice from canned pineapple instead of water, and splash some maraschino cherry juice into the sauce. I also use whatever peppers look best.