Conflict of Pinterest: Sauteed Pork Chops with Sweet Potato, Apples, and Mustard Sauce

Steve Norris | Feb 27, 2017

In this installment of Conflict of Pinterest, the author will attempt to make pork chops. For the longest time, I savyed myself as a fairly decent cook. It wasn't until recently that I was informed “Jesus Christ, Steve, chicken parm doesn't need chili powder.” So perhaps my skills aren't what they're cracked up to be. In any case, I always marvel/scream at Pinterest recipes that look so unbelievably delicious. Yet are the absolute bane of the existence of an “amateur chef” in reproduction. I will be tackling these recipes like I'm a Browns linebacker with his helmet on backwards - dangerously unqualified.

Sautéed Pork Chops with Sweet Potato, Apples and Mustard Sauce

(Okay, I can sautée pork chops. Easy. A mustard sauce, though… ugh.)
  • 1/2 cup/120 ml apple cider or juice, plus more if needed (Done. Easy.)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (Boom, done.)
  • Salt (Diggity done. This recipe is gonna be cake. Pork cake.)
  • 2 boneless, center-cut loin pork chops, about 3/4 in/2 cm thick (Okay. I have the chops. But I'm not getting a goddamn ruler out for this.)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (... Regular black pepper, done, who needs a grinder?)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (Easy, done.)
  • 1 medium sweet potato, about 1/2 lb, peeled and very thinly sliced (Wait, raw? Cooked? Fuck it, cutting it raw.)
  • 1 Braeburn, Gala, or other sweet-tart apple, cored and thinly sliced (It's not a Red Delicious, it's probably fine.)
  • 1 shallot, minced (What the fuck is a shallot? I'll replace this with onion, probably the same thing.)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard, smooth or whole-grain (Got it!)
  • 2 tsp minced fresh flat-leaf parsley (Fresh? Am I made of money? No. You're getting parsley from a BOTTLE.)

Food Preparation

So, I think the hardest part of this recipe was the prep, which probably should have been the easiest. I'm not someone who goes out of their way to "buy sufficient supplies," so all of my dicing was done with steak knives. It's how my father did it, it's how my father's father did it, and who am I to break the tradition of covering my apple slices in blood?

Cooking Session

Pan frying the chops was easy. You just gotta let them sit in the pan, while playing the always-lost game of "dodge the hot spitting oil as it aims for your face." Except I almost lost track of time. I had Scandal playing in the other room, and Olivia was dishing out her own juicy goss. I took the chops safely out of the pan and partially cut one open (who needs a meat thermometer with these trusty eyes?), just to find out that the center was absolutely raw. A burnt exterior with an uncooked interior… this was basically a harmful Hot Pocket. Out of panic, I turned the oven on and threw the meat in for the time being. Nothing like a squeaky C- finish before moving on to the disgusting batch of vegetables that I need to prepare. The moment the veggies hit the pan, I started to second-guess the onion. I figured "I think that's a rooted vegetable" and somehow my mind connected that to "IT'LL BE JUST AS DELICIOUS IF NOT MORE SO. " The smell was thick of sweet onion and sweet potatoes. Fuck. This is gonna taste like sewage sugar, isn't it?

Food Observations… Oh God…

The portions seemed a bit small, too. I think my pork-to-vegetable ratio was way off. There's no way I'm gonna feel full after this. I added the mustard glaze to finish it. It was like watching a watery yellow syrup drip from a spoon. I gagged and considered GrubHub, nixing the article altogether. Now, the taste test. I was half-right. I didn't want anything to eat after this. Because *graphic detail alert* my ass was so backed up that it called its secretary to cancel all meetings for the rest of the day. The onions were, indeed, awful. The sauce had very little flavor. The potatoes had a weird grainy texture, which I have NO idea how that came to be. In the words of Freddy Mercury, “bad mistakes - I've made a few.”

Final Thoughts

But honestly, I can’t blame myself for all of this, can I? Someone legitimately put together apples, sweet potatoes, and mustard in the same pan. That’s an HP Lovecraft-ian side dish that deserves to be sent back to the hell it came from. Even ignoring my flub with the onions, this dish would have been hot garbage anyway. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself between heaving.

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