Cranberries seem to be in real abundance this year and when they're available fresh, this is a nice little autumn dish that I look forward to making. It's pretty simple, straightforward, no unusual ingredients, subtly flavored in spite of the presence of cranberries, but with a hint of a sweet-tart flavor that I enjoy.
I'm going to give you the recipe as it was presented and then I'll share my thoughts.
Cranberry Pork Chops
(from the Cape Cod Cookbook by Jean Childress)
6 center cut pork chops
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup fresh cranberries
salt and pepper
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup water
1 orange, sliced thin, for garnish, optional
In a skillet or fry pan large enough to hold the pork chops without crowding, melt the butter and add the oil. Add the pork chops and brown on both sides. After browned, remove pork chops to a separate dish and drain the excess fat. Return the pork chops to the skillet and add the salt and pepper and brown sugar, cranberries, and water. Cover and simmer for one hour. Make a slurry by combining the flour with a little water, stirring out any lumps, and then gradually adding to the pan, stirring to combine. Continue stirring until thickened. Garnish with the orange slices.
OK, my thoughts. One hour simmering is much, much too long. I had chops that were a good 3/4 inch thick and they were done in 30 minutes or so (it took a bit for the cranberries to cook and burst). I'm pretty sure that if I let them go for an hour, I could've made a silk purse out of the chops. My only other thought is that there's really not a whole lot of sauce so if you'd like more than a couple of tablespoonfuls, I'd suggest doubling the sauce ingredients.