Monday, September 6, 2010

136. Pork Chops Sorrento, Simmered Perfectly

Pork chops are an interesting cut of meat; there are so many that I shudder to think how difficult my explanation would be if I sent my husband to the store to purchase a package for me. Not only are the types of chops confusing, but the way the butcher prepares them is just as perpexing. Some chops are so thin, they look rather pathetic, while others are almost too thick to eat; some have bones and some do not. There are loin, top loin, loin sirloin and loin rib to name a few. A pork chop is definitely not just a pork chop!

For those who would like to be more clear about why pork is labeled the way it is, be sure to visit the following website :  Not only are all of the cuts for pork described, but also included are pictures of each piece of meat as well as a list of common cooking procedures.

 My mother made wonderful pork chops, but she did not especially like to clean all the meat off of the bones while she ate...however, my dad and I loved that part. Like civilized people, we would cut off the bulk of the meat with our knife and fork and consume that first, but the real treat was to pick up the bones and gnaw off all the tender morsels of meat still clinging to them. When we finished eating, our plates probably looked like a flock of vultures had been at work!

Cooking pork chops can be tricky. I did mention in post in post #121, Pork Madeira, that if fried too long, the meat will be tough and almost impossible to shoe leather. This recipe, however, is fool-proof as the  meat is simmered long enough in the sauce that the chops are perfectly tender and flavorful. The herbs in the marinara sauce make this a true Italian treat.

Pork Chops Sorrento

1 sweet onion, sliced
1/2 green pepper, sliced
1 Jar Emeril Marinara sauce
2 cloves garlic, sliced (optional)
4 1/2 inch thick pork chops
Mozzarella cheese, shredded

Heat a large pan on med-high and add olive oil to coat the bottom. Add pork chops and brown both sides of meat until golden. Half-way through the browning process, add sliced onion and green pepper  to one side of the pan and saute until tender.
Turn heat to med-low  and remove meat to a plate; add jar of sauce and 1/3 jar of water mix well with vegetables. Add garlic slices.  Place chops on top of the sauce and cover pan with a lid. Simmer for 45 minutes until meat is fork tender. Turn off heat. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top of chops and replace lid for 5 minutes  or until cheese is melted. Carefully lift chops to plates and spoon extra sauce over meat or other side vegetables.

Side suggestions: Mashed potatoes, rice, pasta, steamed broccoli-cauliflower-carrots.

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