Monday, July 10, 2023

Sour Cream and Clove Pork Chops

You are just going to have to trust me on this recipe. I found it in my grandmother's old World War II cookbook years and years ago. I loved it. Then I kind of forgot about it.

I used to write a column for a local newspaper and recently came across a short note a reader had left me that I had tucked away in a cookbook expressing her admiration for the recipe. But, apparently, not as much as her friend she shared it with "who makes it at least once a week and is addicted."

I am typing the recipe exactly as it appeared in the cookbook. I suggest making it as is before altering or adding to it. Suggestions are in the notes below.

The recipe is easily halved, but I suggest making all the sauce to use over mashed potatoes or rice. Even a good biscuit.

My pork chop of choice is a "rib end" pork chop. Depending where you live, they may not be easily found. At any rate, I like the extra fat and taste it brings. Don't use skinny boneless chops. I cook mine to about 145 F degrees. I like my pork to still have a tinge of pink. Recommended is 160 degrees.You do you.

Please note, "clove" here does not refer to a garlic clove, but an actual whole clove--the kind used at Christmas for holiday baking. It, along with the sugar and vinegar, creates a kind of white, simple "barbecue sauce." 

"Season" your flour how you like it. I use salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder.  

Savory is not always easy to find. You can sub marjoram, dried sage leaves or, in a pinch, oregano.

  • Prepare for cooking
  •     4 loin pork chops, 1/2-inch thick.
  • Dredge them with
  •     Seasoned flour.
  • Insert in each chop
  •     1 whole clove.
  • Brown them lightly in a little hot pork fat or lard. Place them in a baking dish. Combine, heat and pour over them:
  •     1/2 cup water
  •     1 bay leaf
  •     2 tablespoons vinegar
  •     1 tablespoon sugar
  •     1/2 cup sour cream
  •     1/4 teaspoon savory
  • Cover the dish. Bake the chops in a moderate oven of about 350 F degrees for about one hour or until done. Remove cloves and bay leaf.

I think one hour is a bit long. Usually 30-40 minutes does it. As the sauce cooks, it will appear curdled. That is normal. Just re-stir. Plain white vinegar is fine. It is important to keep this covered as it cooks.

This is not a pretty dish. If I have a red onion on hand, sometimes, I will take a few slices of "rings" to throw over chops as they cook. It adds some color. I have also taken small canned new potatoes, cut them in half lengthwise, and tucked them in about halfway through cooking. Whole sage leaves make for an attractive garnish. 

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