COOKING WITH DIANNE

With a tasty sweet-sour tomato-based sauce, Tangy Pork Chops can be served over your favorite starch. I paired the pork chops and sauce with mashed potatoes.

If you have visited the grocery store during the last few weeks then you know what you are finding on the shelves is hit and miss at best. That makes planning a menu more difficult.

I am not sure how long this will go on, as during my most recent trip I found things were a bit better — but there are still many holes in the displays on shelves and in freezer cases. I have been relying on the goods I have in my pantry and freezer for the most part, filling in with some fresh produce and fruit.

I have always felt more secure in menu planning having some things on the kitchen cupboard shelves or in the freezer that I can turn to when planning a meal. Whether I find a good sale or closeout or it is a staple I knew we would use, eventually it’s always smart to have some non-perishable or frozen ingredients on hand.

That’s why I really like the recipe I am sharing with you today. Although the recipe for Tangy Pork Chops originally called for pork chops, I think the sauce would equally be as delicious on chicken or even beef. The sauce is a kind of a combination of the flavors of barbecue sauce with its lightly sweet and acidic tones and the tomato-infused sauce found on traditional Swiss Steak.

The sauce uses ingredients I have on hand most of the time –ketchup, canned tomatoes, onions, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice. I did not have the green pepper the recipe called for but I did have a half of a poblano pepper and that worked very nicely. I sliced it thinly and added it in with the vegetables. I also did not have the stewed tomatoes the second time I made this but I substituted the same size can of diced tomatoes in tomato juice and that worked just fine. This recipe is very forgiving in that it lent itself well to substitutions.

Although the original recipe called for the dish to be made in the slow cooker, I made mine in the pressure cooker and I browned my chops before adding all ingredients except for the cornstarch and cold water. I cooked it according to the preset for meat and then released the steam, turned on the browning preset and stirred in the cornstarch and cold water and cooked until the sauce thickened.

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This recipe probably could also be made in a conventional oven or on top of the stove if you would prefer. If you choose to do it on the stove or in the conventional oven you should keep an eye on the liquid level to ensure the sauce doesn’t cook down too much.

The original recipe called for bone-in pork chops but I had boneless ones in the freezer. You could probably also cook a small pork roast in the sauce or double the sauce ingredients if you were cooking a larger roast

Tangy Pork Chops
  • 4 bone-in pork loin chops
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery ribs, sliced into a similar size as the onion.
  • 1 14.5 ounce can no-salt added stewed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube or 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water

Place pork chops in the slow cooker. Sprinkle the chops with pepper. Add the onions, celery, green pepper and canned tomatoes. Combine the ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and chicken bouillon cube. Pour over the vegetables. Cook on high for 5-6 hours or until the meat is tender. Mix together the cornstarch and water and stir into the liquid in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high an additional 30 minutes or until the sauce is thickened. Serve the meat and sauce over rice, noodles or mashed potatoes. Serves four.