Sunday, January 13, 2013

Cookin' it Old School: Pork Chops in Sour Cream Sauce

When my mother passed away, I had about six days to travel 1600 miles to another country, get everything squared away, and get back.  I couldn't take nearly everything I wanted to, but I made sure to grab her cookbooks, which included some very old ones. I find it fascinating to see how folks cooked when they were closer to their food, before the days of instant this and microwave that.

We did a Costco run the other day and came back with, among other things, a 9-pack of pork chops, each one of which is the approximate size of a Cadillac. So I broke out this gem:

(Sorry...I've no idea why my phonecam keeps rotating things and getting all weird.)

...and found a great recipe.  My changes are annotated below the copy.

Pork Chops In Sour Cream Sauce

4 shoulder, rib or loin pork chops or pork steaks*
1 1/2 tsp instant minced onion or 2 tbs chopped onion*
1/8 tsp instant minced garlic or 1 clove garlic, minced*
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup catsup or chili sauce*
2 tbs brown sugar
1 bouillon cube or 1 tsp instant bouillon*
2 tbs flour
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sour cream

In fry pan, brown chops on both sides.  Add onion, garlic, 1/2 c water, catsup, brown sugar and bouillon.  Cover and simmer 30-40 min until tender.

Combine flour with 1/4 c water.  Remove chops to heated platter, add flour mixture to cooking liquid.  Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and thickens.  Reduce heat, add sour cream.  Heat, but do not boil.  Serve over meat along with noodles or rice.

*  So, we only used three of these chops...the damn things are about 1.5" thick, and it's more than enough for us.

For onion, I had some shallots that were almost past their prime, so I minced and substituted them.  Shallots are right there in the onion family, if a little stronger.  Should have a little more bite, but nothing too drastic..

For garlic, I tossed in about 2 tsp of pre-minced garlic, because, well, garlic.

The choice between ketchup and chili sauce was obvious; when cooking from a mass-produced American recipe book, use the highest heat they recommend.  For Thai, Vietnamese, Indian and other cuisines, use caution.  Chili sauce it is.

I did the bouillon cube, since I wasn't going to open a can of beef stock for a freakin' teaspoon.


It made a very nice, understated but enjoyable and filling meal.  A thick, comforting sauce with a noticeable sweetness blanketing the whole experience.  I'm thinking of tossing in some hot sauce or hot curry powder next time to spice it up a bit, though Mrs. Wraith isn't sure about the idea.  Either way, it's a keeper.

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