Barbara Kafka

Porcine Victory

 (from The Intolerant Gourmet) 

It is amazing how small victories can delight a cook. The other day I had bought a pork chop to serve at dinner. I was admonished that, while my pork roast was delicious and really hefty pork chops came out okay, regular pork chops tended to be dry and tough. I chewed on that for a while and decided that there had to be a solution.

It is ironic that as our pork has been bred to be leaner and leaner, we are being told about rare breeds—of great price—that are to be prized due to their fat content. It is of course that fat that kept the meat moist and tender. However, the new leaner pork is better for us. I cogitated and am delighted to have come up with a solution.

The answer comes from ignoring the usual browning of the chop. It is cooked over medium heat just until the surfaces are white. The other ingredients are added. The pan is covered and the chop(s) braised until cooked through and tender. Also, the soy gives the illusion of browning. It gave me pleasure in the eating and in solving the problem.

This recipe can be multiplied to make as many chops as there are eaters as long as the sauté pan is large enough to hold them in a single layer.

1 teaspoon sesame oil

Single rib pork chop, about ½ pound

1 ounce peeled ginger, coarsely grated, 1 tablespoon

2 cloves peeled garlic, thinly sliced across

2 tablespoons wheat-free tamari soy

¼ teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder

4 ounces small tomatoes, cherry or any other shape

Put the sesame oil in a 9-inch pan. Heat to medium. Put in pork chop. Cook, turning once, until white on both sides. Put ginger and garlic around the edges. Pour soy over all. Sprinkle with five-spice powder. Surround chop with tomatoes. Cover and allow to simmer fifteen minutes or until white through out. 

Return to Recipes