This recipe came about because my wife made a batch of cornbread, and it was delicious: “Splenfiferous” as Zorba the Greek would say. When I ventured down south, corn bread and pork chops was a natural combo. My wife’s singular cornbread made me hark back to those great gustatory memories. Now, as to the cornbread, you can use whatever family recipe you have or you can go on-line where there are hundreds and pick the one you like.
Chuletas con Limón was one of our family’s go-to dish during lean times. It has minimal ingredients, is fairy inexpensive, and still gave you a great meal. We would serve it with rice or potatoes, and it never failed. My father called it “chuletas hervidas,” or boiled pork chops because the chops are steamed in water. Therefore, going back to what was referenced above, it is a healthy dish, no deep frying other than the initial browning. In our family that was not the main concern. We just wanted something cheap and good tasting.
This dish can be done with either center-cut pork chops or boneless tenderloin (which I prefer). Let your taste and pocketbook decide. Also, you can use the pork fat itself for cooking or you can use olive oil or vegetable oil. Your choice. I know, those among us who are health conscious, and that is a worthy endeavor, can forgo the pork fat. But there is no argument that the chops taste better if using the pork fat. I figure, using the latter method once in a while will not kill you; and it’ll give you a great tasting meal.
CHULETAS CON LIMÓN
(Lemon Pork Chops)
Four pork chops (1-inch thick)
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
4 slices lemon rings, seeded
1 cup water
1. Trim some of the fat that remains around the edge of the pork chops and melt in a large heavy skillet or pan. If the chops are well-trimmed, use one or two tablespoons of olive oil or vegetable oil. You can also substitute shortening, if desired.
2. Sprinkle chops with salt, pepper and oregano on both sides. Add to skillet and brown on both sides slowly, using medium-low heat.
3. Top each chop with a lemon slice and pour in water. Cover tightly and simmer gently until chops are very tender, about 45 minutes. Serve with pan juices
Yield: 4 servings.