“Well, he killed that shoat right there, an’ he got Ma to light up the stove. He cut out pork chops an’ put ’em in the pan, an’ he put ribs an’ a leg in the oven. He et chops till the ribs was done, an’ he et ribs till the leg was done. An’ then he tore into that leg. Cut off big hunks of her an’ shoved ’em in his mouth. Us kids hung around slaverin’, an’ he give us some, but he wouldn’ give Pa none. By an’ by he et so much he throwed up an’ went to sleep. While he’s asleep us kids an’ Pa finished off the leg. Well, when Uncle John woke up in the mornin’ he slaps another leg in the oven. Pa says, ‘John, you gonna eat that whole damn pig?’ An’ he says, ‘I aim to, Tom, but I’m scairt some of her’ll spoil ’fore I get her et, hungry as I am for pork.'” From The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
This is the first time we are introduced to Uncle John, who holds himself in, withdrawn and reserved, until his passions burst out and he goes “hog wild” (if you’ll pardon the pun). I can’t imagine trying to eat up that much pork, but when it’s early Easter afternoon and that ham is roasting in the oven, filling the apartment up with delicious smells, then I can kind of imagine wanting to do it. I just went for the pork chops. I served them with apples and carrots roasted with a little butter and brown sugar, and scalloped potatoes. A tip about making those, if you wait for the potatoes to cook all the way through in the oven, you won’t eat until midnight. I par-boiled mine first and they were done pretty quickly.
Easy Frying Pan Pork Chops
Butter and olive oil for the pan
3 pork chops sliced thin on the bone
salt and pepper
Heat the oil and butter until they are good and hot. Sear the pork chops on each side until they start to brown and the juices start to run clear. Take it off the heat immediately and serve with the sweet apples and carrots on the side or even right on top of the chop.
There is nothing worse than overcooked pork and there is nothing easier to overcook. My chops were a lot thicker at the bone than at the edge, which made cooking them a little harder to time. They were one sale, 6 chops for $6, but I suggest you splurge and get the boneless and make sure they’re evenly sliced. While the tender meat around the bone was delicious to gnaw on (as my grandma would have said), the thinner parts didn’t fare quite so well, but I’ve certainly eaten worse.
Apart from the $6 I spent on the chops (3 of which are in the freezer for another day), the only other money I spent was about $2 for 2 apples. The cheese, potatoes, and carrots and the last of the scallions were all leftover from the pot pie. Everything else, I already had in the kitchen. Of course, you could cut this meal back by plain roasting the potatoes in a little salt, rosemary and oil, and you could have steamed the carrots plain and omitted the apple or used a scoop of apple sauce instead. You could have made it decadent as well by breading your meat and adding more than a half a stick of Cracker Barrel to your potatoes or using heavy cream and extra butter. Or, like Uncle John, you could have tried to eat it all in one sitting and not had 2 lunch packet meals and half a pan of potatoes leftover.