Soda Pop Chops with Smashed Potatoes

This meal was kind of a splurge.  As of late we have been eating lighter and healthier, but I was in the mood for a really good old fashioned “Sunday Supper” type of dinner that went all out.  This was just perfect.  It has that stick-to-your-ribs quality about it.

It makes a lot of sauce (which is very tangy by the way), so I’m not sure yet how I’ll use it up this week.  If you have any idea, please let me know.

Soda Pop Chops with Smashed Potatoes

Source: Taste of Home Simple and Delicious, April/May 2011

Serves 4


For the Smashed Potatoes-

about 1.5 pounds (or about 8 ) small red potatoes, halved or quartered depending on size

4 Tbsp butter

milk – about 1/2 cup

s & p

Place potatoes in large pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender.

Ingredients for the chops –

1 cup root beer

1 cup ketchup

1 Tbsp brown sugar

2 tsp chili powder

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/4 tsp garlic powder

2 Tbsp flour

salt and pepper

2 Tbsp olive oil

4 pork chops

Directions for the chops:

In a small bowl combine the root beer, ketchup, sugar, chili and garlic powder, and Worcestershire sauce. Whisk and set aside.

In a large resealable plastic bag, add the flour and some s & p.  Add chops one at a time, shake to coat.

In a large skillet, brown the chops on both sides in oil.  Add the root beer sauce.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes or until meat is tender and cooked through.  Remove chops and keep warm.  Bring sauce to a boil and reduce to desired thickness.

Meanwhile, drain potatoes; mash with the butter and milk.  Season with s & p to taste.

Serve chops smothered in sauce next to the smashed potatoes.

I also served this with Broccoli Salad made with crumbled bacon, dried cranberries, chopped red onion, and sliced almonds.


These potstickers were a little time consuming, but turned out great.  It was my first time working with wonton wrappers and making a dish like this, so I’m sure I can get faster at making them with more practice.  Tim could take them or leave them, but I thought they were really flavorful and very different from my normal cooking rotation.  I’ll definitely try them again.


{source:  adapted from several sites including, Cate’s World Kitchen and Mrs. Sac’s Purple Kitchen}


1/2 pound ground pork/turkey/chicken/beef {I used pork}

1/3 cup thinly sliced green onion {about 5 or 6 green onions}

2 medium carrots, shredded

1/2 package small mushrooms, finely chopped

1 cup finely sliced Napa cabbage

a dash of freshly ground pepper

1-2 tsp freshly grated ginger

2 cloves of minced garlic

3 tbsp soy sauce {plus more for serving if desired}

1 tbsp sesame oil

2 tbsp vegetable oil, divided

one package wonton or potsticker wrappers

water to seal edges


Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large skillet and cook the pork on medium heat till done.  Drain fat and remove meat from pan.

Add the veggies and cook for 3-6 minutes, or till cabbage has slightly wilted.

Remove from heat and combine with the cooked meat.  Also add the pepper, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and sesame oil.  Thoroughly combine all.

On a dry surface, lay out the wonton wrappers. Have a small bowl of water handy, and dip your finger in the water and wet the edges of the wontons, this will be the glue that holds it together. Put approximately 1 tbsp of filling in the center, and fold the opposite edges together and crimp/press down on the edges, forming a pouch.  Set all completed ones aside.

In a clean nonstick skillet, heat up 1 tbsp vegetable oil over med-high heat and add the potstickers.  Leave them alone for a minute or until bottoms are lightly browned.  Add 1/3 cup of water and put the lid on immediately.  Cook for about 3-5 minutes, or until the tops are steamed and water has evaporated and the bottoms are golden brown and stick slightly to the skillet.  May need to cook them in a few batches. Remove from pan and serve with dipping sauces such as spicy mustard and soy sauce.


Pork Chops with Beer and Bacon Gravy

I’m almost too embarrassed to post this because of how unhealthy it is, but what the hell.   I thought it was tasty, but Tim did not like it so I won’t be making it again.  I served it over couscous, but on the show Ray-Ray served it with boiled baby red-skinned potatoes that she dressed up with paprika.  I also cut the recipe in half.

Pork Chops with Beer and Bacon Gravy


{Source:  Rachel Ray @}

This is the full recipe:

  • 4 bone-in pork chops, just over 1-inch thick
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus a drizzle
  • 2 thick slices smoky bacon, diced 1/4-inch {even though I cut the recipe in half, I still used 2 slices of bacon}
  • 1 medium onion, diced 1/4-inch
  • 1 rounded tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 bottle amber to dark German beer
  • 1/2 cup stock
  • Chopped parsley, for garnish {I omitted because I put parsley in the couscous}


Season the chops liberally with salt and pepper. Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chops and cook, turning once, until caramelized and the meat is just turning firm, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove to a platter and cover with foil, reserve.

Add a drizzle more oil to the pan, add bacon and brown for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the onions and saute over medium heat with the bacon until soft, 6 to 7 minutes. Sprinkle in flour, stir for 1 minute, then add the beer. Cook until reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes more, then whisk in the stock. Remove from the heat and season with pepper. Pour the gravy over the chops, sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

Rosemary Mustard Pork Chops

Pork chops are not something that I put on the menu very frequently, and I have no idea why.  I guess I just forget about them.  But I’m going to try to change that because these were delicious!

I only cooked 2 chops, but I used the full amount of sauce because we like things saucy.  😉 I served them with a tossed salad and baked potato, but noodles, rice or mashed potatoes would have been better to soak up some of the sauce.

Sorry for the bad picture!

Rosemary Mustard Pork Chops

{source: Le Petit Pierogi}


4 thick pork chops {I used 2}

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. brown mustard {yellow, spicy, or any other kind will do}

1 Tbsp. soy sauce

1/4 Cup chicken stock

2 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 Tsp. paprika

1 Tbsp. dried rosemary {I’ll use about 1/2 that next time}

1 Tsp. black pepper

1 Tsp. salt


Preheat oven to 350°.

Preheat saute pan/frying pan to medium high heat and dry the chops with a paper towel.

Combine soy sauce, mustard, brown sugar and rosemary in a bowl; mix together.

Season pork with salt and pepper.

Add the chops to pan and begin to sear on one side, about 3-4 minutes. Once complete on one side, flip and do the same on other side.

Remove and place on plate.

De-glaze the pan by adding the chicken stock and scraping all the bits off the bottom of the pan.

Add the sauce mixture from step 3 and let thicken for 2 minutes.

Add the chops back to the pan and place into the oven to finish the cooking process; about 12 minutes. {I get nervous about fully cooking meat, so I baked them for about 20 minutes.}

Remove from oven, baste with sauce.


Pork Tenderloin

Traditionally on Christmas Eve, Tim and I stay home and I’ll cook a nice meal of roasted pork tenderloin, potatoes and steamed broccoli (Tim’s favorite veggie).  This year we made other plans on Christmas Eve, but I still wanted to prepare our traditional meal.  So, I did just that 2 days after Christmas this year.

To accompany the pork tenderloin this time, I served baked sweet potatoes with butter and cinnamon or brown sugar, broccoli salad with dried cranberries instead of raisins, dinner rolls (leftover from Christmas), and homemade applesauce.  It was a delicious meal!  The pork was very moist and just a little spicy.

If you wish, you can certainly adapt the spices to suit your taste.  And this doesn’t have to be a special occasion meal either.  You could put the rub on the pork in the morning before work, place it in the fridge, and throw it in the oven when you get home.  You’ll have a meal ready in about 30 minutes.  Pretty nice for a weeknight!

Roasted Pork Tenderloin


1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper – leave it out if you don’t like heat

3 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed

2 or 3 heaping tablespoons of thick and grainy spicy mustard

1 or 2 tablespoons brown sugar

approximately 1.5 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat


Mix the oil, mustard, sugar and seasonings together to form a paste {will be a little thin}.  Rub or brush it over the pork on all sides.  Place the pork in a shallow baking dish.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to marinate.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Bake the tenderloin uncovered in the oven for anywhere from 25-40 minutes or until done.  Let rest about 10 minutes, then cut into 1″ slices.

This would easily serve 4, but leftovers are great too.  I’ll probably cut up the pork and use it in pork fried rice tomorrow or the next day.