Once I removed the shoulder bone from the two roasts I bought at Ranch Market last week for 98 cents a pound, I sliced 15 pounds of the shoulder meat into chops. The other 5 pounds got chopped to make pulled pork in the slow cooker. Today I thawed 2 pounds of chops. While they thawed, I grated the zest from one whole navel orange, then squeezed the juice over the chops. I added the orange zest and 3 cloves of finely-minced fresh garlic, about 1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom and about a tablespoon of Cajun seasoning. I rubbed the spices all over the meat, turning it repeatedly in the orange juice to ensure complete coverage. I let the meat marinate in the refrigerator in a 4-quart plastic storage container while I scrubbed three fist-sized potatoes. I trimmed away some bad-looking spots and pierced each potato, then microwaved them together for 6 minutes on high. I turned each potato over and microwaved them for another two minutes, quartered them and sliced them into 1/2-inch thicknesses.
I heated 1/2 cup of canola oil in a 12-inch diameter saute pan on medium-high for three minutes, then used the lid as a shield while I slid each chop into the pan to avoid splashing the hot oil. I pan-fried the chops for three minutes per side, turning them twice on each side, for a total of 6 minutes per side. I pulled the chops from the oil, holding them over the saute pan until the oil stopped dripping before transferring them to a serving platter.
I used the lid as a shield again when I slid the sliced potatoes off the cutting board and into the oil. I pan-fried the potatoes for about 10 minutes, until they were just past golden-brown, then removed them from the pan using a slotted spoon. I pulled the double-layered paper towels over them and patted the excess oil away before sliding the potatoes onto the serving platter with the pork chops.
I boiled the marinade and added it to the shrimp-infused gravy I had made to go with the river-raised catfish we cooked two nights ago. I'll post that recipe another day.
Ingredients and Equipment:
2 pounds sliced pork shoulder roast
4-quart plastic storage container
Juice and zest from 1 navel orange
3 large cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
3 fist-sized potatoes
1/2 cup canola oil
12-inch saute pan with lid
Small glass casserole dish