Pork Chops

Pork Chops

The pork chop is taken from the loin part of the pig. Specifically, it is cut perpendicular to the spine of the pig and contains a rib or bone, as per Wikipedia. Pork is usually taken from a young hog at 6 to 7 months old, as defined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA suggests looking for pork that has a firm, grayish pink color and a relatively small amount of fat.

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The USDA recommends cooking pork chops at 145°F internal temperature with a rest time of three minutes. The rest time indicates “the amount of time the product remains at the final temperature, after it has been removed from a grill, oven, or other heat source.”

While home cooks usually cook the pork chops until it’s brown or thoroughly cooked (not pink, which is traditionally held as still raw), the USDA says it is the internal temperature that is the best indicator of doneness and being microbiologically safe to eat. So it is advisable to prick the pork with a meat thermometer especially if you prefer pork chops just a bit pink inside.

Tender, juicy pork chops may be grilled, pan-fried, or breaded then deep-fried. It can also be broiled, which is how the mustard and rosemary pork chops recipe in this collection is done. The pork chops are cooked under a broiler to produce that golden brown surface. It is then baked for another 8 minutes together with the herbed wine glaze.

The chops, which are usually thick, may be slit with a small pocket in the center and stuffed with bacon and apple, cherry and sage stuffing mix, cornbread and herbs, and other stuffing delights. Pork chops can be cooked also with the flavor profiles of Mexican, Italian, French, Asian and other cuisines of the world. It can be barbecued, glazed with honey, or cooked with fruits like orange or apricot.

Apples also work well with pork chops, as seen in the recipe here of pork chops with apple gravy. Applesauce gravy is poured on top of the skillet-browned pork chops then baked in the oven for about an hour and a half. Another recipe is pork chop with broiled apple rings. The apples are cored and sliced into rings, sprinkled with a little sugar and cinnamon, broiled till brown and then poured on broiled chops.

 

 

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