It is unanimous in our home: We don’t particularly care for pork chops. So why do I buy them? Well, I won’t anymore. But I kept buying them because they would go on sale for dirt cheap and I thought The Mister liked them. However, we’ve both decided that they just don’t have the same flavor as we remember from our childhoods. I’m guessing that is because they’ve basically bred all of the fat and tastiness out of pork in an effort to be “the other white meat” after sales dropped off of the face of the earth when consumers were told to avoid animal fat.
So, I had some pork chops in the freezer and I decided to give “Pork Chops Diane” from The Complete Round the World Meat Cookbook by Myra Waldo (1967) a shot. Is it a “keeper?” Let’s find out.
Pork Chops Diane6 loin pork chops, cut 3/4 inch thick and boned 3 tablespoons butter 3/4 cup chopped onions 1 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons prepared mustard 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 cup hot beef broth 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
So far, so good. There isn’t anything out of the ordinary in the ingredient list.
Trim the fat from the chops. Split the chops in half horizontally (to make thinner) but do not cut entirely through. Open flat like a book.
I didn’t have six chops but three pork chop steaks. Because they were already thin and large, I didn’t butterfly them (this is the “official” term for what the recipe describes above because you are opening the meat so that it looks like a butterfly).
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a skillet; brown the chops in it on both sides.
Remove the chops. Heat the remaining butter in the pan, add the onions, and saute’ 3 minutes.
Blend in the cornstarch, salt, mustard, and pepper. Gradually add the broth, stirring steadily to the boiling point.
This is where I ran into trouble. I used prepared mustard as instructed but I think mustard still in its powdered form would have been better. I combined the ingredients before adding them to the butter/onion mixture and the dry ingredients clumped to the prepared mustard that then just stayed kind of lumpy when added to the skillet. After whisking it a little bit, I added the broth and whisked some more. I was able to get rid of most of the lumps but it just made for unnecessary work when the dry mustard would have worked just as well.
Add the Worcestershire and return the chops. Baste the chops several times, cover and cook over low heat 20 minutes or until the chops are tender.
I took one chop and cut it in half to make a perfect serving size for each of us. Since it was a hot night, and we didn’t want to eat a lot, I served it with sauteed cremini mushrooms and some applesauce (because The Brady Bunch has drilled into us that pork chops have to be served with applesauce).
Verdict: The sauce never thickened like I thought it would so it was pretty runny when I spooned some of it over the chop on the plate. That in itself is not a deal breaker. However, neither of us felt that this recipe was anything more than “okay.” The chops were still pretty bland tasting.
No, this recipe is not a “keeper.”