Pork Chops and potatoes are on of my favorite combinations. My mom used to make this all the time when I was growing up. There’s something about this tomato sauce; anything you cook in it comes out so rich and comforting. I must proudly say I have mastered it. I know it so well I can make it in my sleep, but see, I had to stop and measure each ingredient that went it and write down for you. I’m not big into measurements when it comes to cooking. My mom taught me to eyeball everything but, I figure it would be very difficult to encourage you to cook if I tell you, “add a pinch of this, two pinches of that, a handful of this” that’s how my mom shares her recipes and I always tell her “but, our hands are not the same size! My handfuls are probably bigger than yours, it’s not going to turn out good!” but somehow, believe me, it always works. So when I got back home to Monterrey my mom likes to make me my favorite dishes and she always asks me ahead of time so that she would have it ready as soon as I step on the door. This dish is one of my many requests. In my family it is very rude to have nothing cooking when people comes to visit, either you expect company or not, better be prepared. So let’s jump right to it.
Get your skillet hot and add the oil. Dry each pork with a paper towel, this will take some moisture out of the meat and will allow it to brown better. Season both sizes with salt and pepper and place the meat in the skillet. They will brown very quick, these are thin cut pork chops, a couple minutes each side will do. We’ll cook them again in the sauce so don’t worry if you think they didn’t cook trough.
So, while the meet was cooking I got the veggies ready. I would normally use green bell pepper for this recipe but I didn’t any at that time and honestly any color is perfectly delicious, red just happens to be sweeter.
After all the meat has browned, set it aside on a plate and let it hang in there for now. Let’s get those veggies in the skillet! you don’t need to add any more oil to the skillet and please don’t clean It either, all those brown bits on the bottom are just flavor. After the veggies go in season with salt. The salt not only add a layer of flavor but it will also take some moisture out of the veggies and this will give them a nice color. So, while the veggies are enjoying the heat, let’s do our tomato sauce.
In a blender, or like me, in a pirex glass measuring cup (both cups of my immersion blender were in the dish washer) puree the tomatoes, onion, garlic, spices, salt and pepper and add the water. you want this sauce very smooth.
Turn the heat to low and add the sauce to the veggies. Let it simmer for about 10-15 min, we want the potatoes fork tender before the pork chops go back in.
So, here I realized my skillet is not big enough. Oh, well. The pork chops are going to be very snug in there but that’s ok. Nobody is complaining. Put the lid back on and simmer for five more minutes. If the sauce seems to thick you can always add water, cooking time can be different depending on the size of your veggies or your pork chops so, you can always add water and make the sauce “saucey” again. Is that a proper term?
Here is the final product. Isn’t it pretty? well, it is equally delicious!
Chuletas de Puerco con papas/Pork chops with potatoes
- 4 thin cut pork chops
- 2 medium size potatoes (diced)
- 1 bell pepper (sliced)
- 1/2 onion (sliced)
- cilantro (for garnish).
for the sauce
- 4 roma tomatoes
- 1/2 onion
- 1 large garlic clove
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cummin
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- In a small sauce pan boiled the tomatoes with enough water to almost cover them. Boil until the skin starts breaking.
- Meanwhile, heat up a skillet and add 1 tbs of oil (I use clear olive oil).
- Dry the pork chops with a paper towel and season them on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Brown the pork chops both sides in the skillet.
- Take the pork chops out and set aside on a plate.
- Add the veggies to the pan and season with salt. Cook about 2 minutes, just enough to add some color to the vegies.
- At this point the tomatoes should be ready. Blend the tomatoes, onion, glarlic and spices until smooth. Add the sauce to the veggies. Cover and simmer on low until potatoes are for tender, about 10-15 min.
- Return the pork chops to the skillet, cover and simmer for 5 for minutes.
- Garnish with cilantro if desired.