Thursday, May 8, 2014

Russian Pork Chops & the Colorado Cache Cookbook

Russian Pork Chops

Russian Pork Chops!

This is one of the few recipes I grew up eating regularly, and I still make it regularly for my family. It is an incredibly easy, delicious pork recipe that cooks up in a creamy, tangy sauce that is perfection when paired with pork. You probably have all the ingredients in stock right now, save for the pork itself perhaps. Pork chops were buy-one-get-one this week at my local grocery store, so I stocked up. I decided the first recipe I'd use would be my favorite pork recipe: that's Russian Pork Chops, via Colorado Cache Cookbook.

I'll show you how easy the pork is in a minute, but first, allow me to share with you the most incredible, nondescript cookbook you'll ever know. Most of my Colorado friends know what a treasury this cookbook is, and so they already own a copy. I own my grandmother's copy. I love seeing her notes when I open it up to start cooking. It's from the 1970s and is still highly reviewed today by locals and food critics. I've never tried a recipe from this book that hasn't been 5-star. Oh, and their baking recipes are ALREADY HIGH-ALTITUDE ADJUSTED! Which is probably why the chocolate chip/raisin oatmeal cookies are the best stinkin' cookies I've ever had here in the Mile High City.  It's a must have: The Junior League of Denver's Colorado Cache Cookbook.
Russian Pork ChopsRussian Pork Chops
If you live in Colorado the world, and you like to eat breakfast, lunch, or dinner--then it'd be a shame if you didn't own this cookbook. If you think I'm just making a big deal out of a blah local cookbook that has a few childhood recipes I'm attached to, I'll refer you to see the stellar reviews of this cookbook on Amazon.com.

Okay, now moving on...
Russian Pork Chops
As I said earlier, these Russian Pork Chops are incredibly easy to make. I don't know what makes them "Russian". I just know that they are delicious. Sweet & savory.

Ingredients call for 1 to 1.5" pork chops {growing up, my parents often used bone-in chops, I usually use boneless}, sour cream, sugar, flour, red wine vinegar, one bay leaf, and salt & pepper to taste.

Oh, and a tablespoon or two of oil, which is how you start this recipe out, browning the chops in oil over med-high on both sides.
Russian Pork ChopsRussian Pork Chops
Then you add the flour to the pan, and create a fond for a pan sauce. Using a wooden spook to scrape up those flavorful brown bits left behind. {Christopher Kimball has taught me how important those bits are!}
Russian Pork ChopsRussian Pork Chops
Add all the remaining ingredients. I usually double the sauce ingredients and up the pork chop count from 4 to 6 {my baby himself can eat two}. So, I add 1 cup sour cream, 4T red wine vinegar, 4t sugar, 1-2 bay leaves, and then just salt & pepper to taste. So easy. Many times I have made this recipe without even pulling out the cookbook, just adding those memorized ingredients to taste--it always turns out good.
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Mix it all up in your pan, nestle those pork chops back in, cover and cook on LOW heat for about 50 minutes.
Russian Pork Chops
Before serving, I usually taste the sauce and adjust it a tad. Not tangy enough? Add more wine vinegar. Not sweet enough? Add more sugar. Or sometimes it just needs a pinch of salt. Or, sometimes it's just perfect and ready to serve. Point is, this sauce is foolproof and forgiving.

See how tattered and used my Colorado Cache Cookbook is? I believe Violet even added some of her own notes. You know it's a good cookbook when it's tattered and splattered with grease spots from decades of use.
Russian Pork Chops
As I said, I like more sauce, so I usually always double all the ingredients except for the pork chops.
Russian Pork Chops
And that's IT, folks! Easy and so very simple. So very tasty. Just ask this guy:
Russian Pork Chops
If you already own the Colorado Cache, please tell me your favorite recipes! I'm still slowly making my way through as many as I can. I'm itching to get into the Mexican food section. This cookbook is huge.
Russian Pork ChopsRussian Pork Chops
If you don't own it, think about changing that. My favorite recipes you should try first include: French steak, Chicken Boursin, "The Best" Oatmeal Cookies, and my mom has made the Mandarin Salad every Christmas since I can remember.
Russian Pork Chops

She's a keeper. Enjoy!

Cheers,
Heather

3 comments:

  1. Oh, this looks so good, I'm going to have to try it!

    ReplyDelete
  2. My mom and grandma have both had a copy of that book since I can even remember but somehow I don't have one of my own! I have always struggled with high altitude baking here and it never even occurred to me to look in this book--duh! Now I have to look for it. Bet I can thrift one!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've lived here my entire life and I've never seen that book! I want it so I can make those scrumptious looking pork chops.

    ReplyDelete

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