May 14, 2012

Tropical Pork Chops

I am always on the lookout for great pork recipes, which is surprising to some as I never really liked pork.  However, several years ago I realized I was overcooking pork, and this is why it was always so bad when I made it!  Now it is one of my favorite meats to cook! 

The USDA has always recommended pork be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees - not wanting to kill anyone I, of course, followed the rules! Until i learned that chefs everywhere will tell you that is WAY overdone!  you could break a tooth on pork that is so overcooked! 

Recently the USDA has changed those guidelines and lowered the safe cooking temperature for pork to 145 degrees.  It's true! Check out this article. This is much better! Although with all of those meat thermometers out there that guide you to overcook pork - I'm sure many are still following that practice and eating 'the other white meat' overcooked.  When I cook pork, I take it out around 138-140 degrees and then let it rest for about 5-10 mins. I haven't made anyone sick yet... 

I served Tropical Pork Chops over the weekend, and we really enjoyed them. The sauce is delicious and very easy to make. I made some minor changes to the recipe as follows...


  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion salt
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • 4 boneless pork loin chops
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup pineapple tidbits
  • Hot cooked rice


In a saucepan, combine the first eight ingredients. Cover and simmer until sugar is dissolved, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat; set aside. Season pork chops with salt and pepper. In a skillet, cook pork, onion and garlic in oil until meat is caramelized. Add pineapple juice and reserved sauce. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes or until the meat is 140-145 degrees. Stir in pineapple and heat through. Serve over rice.

note:  Next time I make this I will be sure to use fresh pineapple instead of canned.

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