This sweet and sour pork chops recipe is a perfect dish for a family meal. Serve it with the pineapples and peppers on the side and you have a fantastic meal made at home.
Don’t let the amount of ingredients in this meal intimidate you. This isn’t a super complicated meal but there are several important steps.
You want to make sure that you sear the pork chops before you put them in the oven, for example.
This is one of those meals that you will be happy that you made AND the family will ask for it over and over again.
So let’s have some real talk about ingredients here. In every scenario the best ingredient is the freshest ingredients. However, there isn’t always enough time in a day to buy a whole pineapple, cut it and dice it.
This why buying cut up pineapple from the grocery store can be a big time saver. We do this quite often ourselves and while it is a bit more expensive, the time savings is just worth it for us.
What kind of pork chops should I use?
This recipe is best with boneless pork chops that are about ½” thick. If the pork chop is too thin it will dry out in the oven. The thicker pork chops can cook for longer and become more tender.
How can you tell if pork chops are bad?
If pork chops have gone bad they will have an unmistakable pungent odor. Pork chops that have turned will also have more of a greyish color tone vs the pinkish tone of a good pork chop.
Feel the meat and if it feels slimy or sticky it has turned.
How long do pork chops last?
Pork chops can be left in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. If you plan to eat the chops at a later date than that, you should place them in the freezer. Pork chops can be kept in the freezer for up to 12 months. (source)
how to tell when a pork chop is done?
The best way to tell if pork chops are done is by using a meat thermometer. The internal temperature of pork should be 145-160 degrees fahrenheit.
However the disadvantage of poking the meat with a thermometer is that juices will seep out. So another method is to feel the meat and compare it to the feeling between the fleshy part of your hand between your thumb and your palm.
If it feels similar to that it is likely done. Be careful because the meat will be hot!
Can Pork Chops be a little pink?
Yes, a pork chop can be a little pink on the inside and still considered done. In actuality, having the chop a bit pink will produce a juicer steak. The trick is to make sure that the pork chop has reached an internal minimum temperature of 145 degrees fahrenheit.
Also, note that the USDA recommends allow the chop to rest for 3 minutes after removing it from the heat source.
Why sear pork chops before putting them in the oven?
The purpose of searing a pork chop before putting it in the oven to is to build flavor and texture. The browning process caramelize the natural sugars and juices in the meat.
It is important when searing meat not to overcook it in the process. The other advantage of searing your pork chop is that your pan will be left with scrapings that will be tasting for deglazing and creating a sauce.
A recipe for sweet and sour pork chops with sweet red bell peppers and pineapple on the side.
- 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
- 4 boneless pork chops, approximately 1/2” thick
- ¼ c. balsamic vinegar
- ¼ c. real maple syrup
- 3-4 garlic cloves
- 2 t. dried rosemary
- ½ t. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 2 c. fresh pineapple chunks
- 3 large green onions
- ¼ c. fresh parsley
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Prepare Ingredients
- Mince the garlic cloves.
- Wash and dry the peppers. Cut the bell peppers in half and remove the seeds. Slice the bell peppers into thin slices.
- Wash and dry the green onions. Dice the green onion into small pieces.
- Remove the parsley leaves from the stem and roughly chop them.
- Cut the pineapple into small ½” size chunks.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet (with sides) with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Set aside for future steps.
- Sear the chops - Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place the pork chops in the hot pan and sear on both sides for 1-2 minutes per side. Season each side with salt and pepper.
- Bake the chops - Remove the pork chops from the pan and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Bake the chops in the hot oven until they are thoroughly cooked. This step should take between 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the oven. ( Check for doneness after cooking for 10 minutes. )
- Create the sauce - Add the vinegar, syrup, garlic, rosemary and pepper flakes into a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook the mixture for about 5 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken. Then reduce heat to a low simmer and continue to cook until ready to serve. Stir this mixture occasionally while it is simmering.
- While the sauce is cooking add the additional tablespoon of olive oil and sliced peppers to the pan used to sear the chops. Turn the pan to medium-high heat. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until the peppers soften. Cook the peppers for 6 to 8 minutes.
- After the peppers soften and have cooked for at least 6 minutes, add pineapple and cook for another 3 minutes. Stir in the green onion and parsley. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
- Remove the pork chops from the oven. Cover the chops loosely and allow them to rest for 3 minutes.
- Plate the pork chops. Pour the glaze over the chops and serve the peppers and pineapple alongside.
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: Asian
After you have made the sweet and sour pork chops the first time and have the hang of it, you can start experimenting with the ingredients a bit.
For example, if you have fresh rosemary on hand, I would highly recommend using that. Also, you may prefer the dish to be less sweet and as a result you can add less syrup. Another option would be to experiment with brown sugar instead of syrup.
Have fun and keep mixing it up.