breaded vinegary pork chops

At one point in my elementary school life, my mother made me write down a list of the things that I like to eat for dinner.  She was getting frustrated with my picky eating habits, so I wrote a list to show her that really, there were all kinds of foods I like.  As long as you counted pancakes for dinner and potatoes as vegetables.  I still have this list.  My mom found it in in my old desk and passed it along to me.  In true Erin fashion, there are multiple columns and footnotes.  And my favorite finding here was, under the list of things I like to eat for dinner, the item “that pork stuff.”  I have no idea what this means.  I asked my mom the other day and she has no idea either.

I’m not really sure what that has to do with these pork chops, except that they are both pork.  And this recipe comes from Dinner A Love Story (y’all, I still cannot get enough of that book), which deals with picky eating in the best way I have ever read.  So many people who write about picky eating and having picky eating children (which, no, I do not have the children, but I do vividly remember what it was like to be one of those children) talk about how to get your kids to eat things and how to solve the problem.  Jenny is a lot more accepting of it, which honestly seems a lot healthier to me.  She exposes her kids to plenty of new foods (and tries to make it fun for them), but if they don’t like it, well, at least they tried.  And if one of her kids will only eat the pasta dish with all of it’s pieces separated out (this would have been me) or if another kid will only eat two out of the three things on the plate, it’s still a victory.  It seems for her, and rightly so, that if the family is sitting down for dinner together, it is always a victory.  She doesn’t seem concerned about fixing her kids or making them like certain foods.  They like what they like, and while they might not like normal stuff like pasta and eggs, there are plenty of things her kids seem to like that I would never ever eat, even as an adult.

Anyway, on to these pork chops.  The first time I made them, it was a bit of a disaster.  I burnt the breading but the inside of the pork was still underdone so I ended up putting them in the oven, which was really not ideal.  They were okay, but nothing I particularly loved.  But I couldn’t stop thinking about the tangy flavor they had, and how, if I had done it right, these would be a dinner keeper.
Turns out, they were.  Once I had my pork chops pounded to the right thickness (and I went even a little thinner than 1/2 inch I think), and once I had my oil at a perfect hot but not scorching temperature, these cooked wonderfully.  The insides were bright and tangy from soaking in the red wine vinegar, but the bread crumb coating balanced any excessive tangyness out perfectly.  They were crisp and buttery on the outside, and the pork had a more intense and interesting flavor than just regular breaded pork chops.  The flavor is a little unexpected, but nothing too dramatic.  It’s just what we needed to mix up our pork chop dinner routine, because we have them quite often, and this is a dinner recipe I’m sure we’ll go back to again and again.

Breaded Vinegary Pork Chops
adapted from Dinner A Love Story

4 boneless pork chops, pounded to 1/2 inch thickness*
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
zest from 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (or 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano)
Kosher salt
Pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, beaten
Olive oil

1. Arrange the pork in a single layer in a rimmed baking dish.  Pour the vinegar over the pork and let the pork sit and marinade at room temperature for 1 hour.
2. In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, lemon zest, thyme, oregano, and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Place the flour in another small bowl, and in a third bowl place your beaten eggs (or, more logically, beat your eggs in the bowl).
3. Pat the pork chops with a paper towel to dry them slightly.  Dredge each pork chops in the flour, shaking off the excess flour, then the beaten eggs, and then the panko mixture.  Make sure that each part of each pork chop is well coated in panko.
4. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add about 3 tablespoons or so of olive oil.  When the oil is hot, add your pork chops (they very well might need to be cooked in two batches, adding more oil as necessary).  Cook until the pork chops are crispy and golden brown, about 4 minutes on each side.  Serve warm.

*They call for bone-in pork chops in the book, but I’m not sure how that’s ideal with the pounding and breading.  Also, I went slightly thinner than 1/2 inch.

4 Responses

  1. Becki's Whole Life February 7, 2013 at 11:15 pm |

    Cute story:-)…My youngest is a bit picky and last night we had her try eggplant. The face was so funny I couldn’t keep myself from laughing.

    These sound great! Simple, but flavorful – my favorite kind of recipe.

    Reply
  2. Kathryn February 8, 2013 at 6:31 am |

    I’m pretty sure I made a similar list when I was younger!

    These sound really lovely – such a great hit of flavour.

    Reply
  3. Mrs Deer February 10, 2013 at 3:12 pm |

    So appetizing! And sublim photos!!

    Reply
  4. thelittleloaf February 12, 2013 at 4:07 am |

    I was horribly fussy when I was little – years of eating pasta with butter and parmesan on holiday in Italy nearly sent my meat-loving Dad mad, but now I’ll eat pretty much anything. I think most kids come round to enjoying lots of different foods eventually.

    These look so delicious. I make something similar with veal and garnish it with caperberries but will have to try your pork version too. yum.

    Reply

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