Cheap Recipe: “Perfect Fifths” Marinated Pork Chops

9 Mar

This is Recipe #97, making the countdown to RKP’s 100th Recipe Celebration with Jana Kolpen at (3)!

For a printable version of this recipe and complete ingredients listing, click here.

Why am I suddenly humming the theme from “Star Wars: A New Hope”?

I invented this recipe one night when I’d remembered to thaw the pork chops, but forgotten to marinate them.

I had about five minutes to figure out what to do with them–I’d planned on skillet-frying them, but figured without any marinade time they’d be chewy and dry.

I did a quick scan of the kitchen, and in no time whipped up this pretty little sauce. Sticking the chops in the oven for a slower cook time was the perfect way to make up for not marinating them in the fridge.

The finished chops were as juicy as any pork I’ve ever had, and the flavors of the marinade left the pork with a complex, tangy flavor I look forward to repeating. (Only it won’t be an accident next time!)

These big beauties were only 3 bucks on Manager's Special at the meat counter.

The best part of this recipe is that there isn’t a single measurement to remember. Just use equal portions of the five different ingredients, and you’re done! Alter the amount of the portions you use based on how many pork chops you’re using.

Barbecue Sauce.

I suspect this would make a lovely chicken sauce as well, by the way, but I scored a great deal on the chops by browsing the “Manager’s Special” section of the grocery’s meat counter.

ALWAYS check the Manager’s Specials first–that label just means they want to sell the meat quickly because it’s been thawed for a day or two. It’s still perfectly safe to eat as long as you either cook it or freeze it the same day you buy it, and you can literally save several dollars on each cut you buy this way!

Creamy French or Italian Salad Dressing.

Chef’s Note: For two large butterfly pork chops, I used 1/2-cup portions of each ingredient, which left plenty of marinade to turn into baked sauce for spooning over the finished meat.

Low-sodium soy sauce.

 You could probably get away with those 1/2-cup portions for 3, or even 4, medium-sized chops if you didn’t want as much excess sauce left over.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large pitcher or spouted batter bowl, mix equal parts of the following five ingredients, using 1/4-cup-per-ingredient-per-serving-of-meat as a good rule of thumb: barbecue

sauce, creamy French, Italian, Russian or Catalina salad dressing, soy sauce (low- sodium* is great), brown sugar (firmly packed) and cola (Pepsi, Coke, generic…whatever).

Brown Sugar.

*If you decide to use regular soy sauce instead of low-sodium, you may want to only use half as much of this ingredient as the others and then add more to taste. Pork chops tend to soak up salty flavors!

Mix until thickly blended.

Mix all five marinade ingredients together in pitcher until thick and well-blended. Place pork chops in a glass baking pan and pour marinade over the meat. Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes, depending on size and thickness of meat.

Pour over meat.

Fizzy Cola.

Remove from oven when meat thermometer reads 170 degrees, or until center of a “test chop” appears completely opaque when sliced into.

Serve chops with sauce spooned over them. Applesauce and green beans make for easy sides!

Another great candidate for Smell-O-Vision...


So juicy!








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