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Help needed - pork chop, potato and Lipton onion soup bake

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sniffa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-08-08 06:28 PM
Original message
Help needed - pork chop, potato and Lipton onion soup bake
My mother used to make this meal when I was growing up (mostly in my teen years) and it used to be my favorite. Anyhow, I've tried a few times to recreate it, and have failed every time, despite modifications with each try.

The basics of how my mother used to make it are: in a few inch deep baking dish, add some boneless pork chops, potato slices (maybe a 1/4-1/2 inch), and Lipton onion broth. Place in oven till the chops don't even need utensils to separate.

Sounds simple enough (believe me, my mom is not a cook - my dad did the cooking every night save for this meal, and maybe a handful of others at most) but the few times I've tried to recreate it, it's come out awful. The chops have come out okay, but the potatoes come out soggy, and there's no flavor to the meal. I've update each time to try and get it right (even though my mom never went to the lengths of adding real onions, and spices) yet I seem to either making it worse, or the same (despite the spices I keep adding).

The way my mom's dish came out was: onion broth flavored chops that melted in your mouth, and onion broth flavored potatoes that were crisp.

Does anyone recognize this recipe (again, it's far from a foodie recipe, but I'll appreciate any way to improve, or at least get it right)?

I've called my mother about it, and she tells me I'm out of my mind as she has no recollection of it... even though I can recall her making it dozens of times, and the ingredients she used, and the fact that she got the recipe from a coworker (she doesn't work there anymore either).

I was thinking about it today, and I "may" try something a bit different. I used to mix the potatoes and chops together (along with onions, spices or whatever I'd try) and make enough broth to cover them. I think tomorrow (when I'm going to try again) I'll quick (flash?) fry the potatoes to give them a crispy texture; then only add enough broth to have to cover about half of the ingredients, and try to flip everything half-way through.

Please, any insight, advice, or even criticism would be greatly appreciated.

TIA
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-08-08 07:08 PM
Response to Original message
1. Here's a recipe
I'm surprised it doesn't call for browning the pork chops, I thought that might be your problem. It sounds good. I wonder what kind of pork chop, sweet potato, bake recipe is out there. We're not supposed to eat white potatoes anymore.

http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1726,146169-229199,00.h...
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sniffa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-08-08 07:18 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thank you
It's not her recipe, but it's kinda close. The chops were on the bottom, potatoes on top, and no mushroom soup.

I find it humorous that my mom thinks I'm nuts for "imagining a meal she never made, nor that I've ever eaten." :rofl:
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-08-08 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I do that all the time
I can remember my parents' delusions about our childhood and wondered what house they had been living in. Now, my kids will talk about something and I just have no memory of some things at all. OTOH, I know I made my mother's soup and yet my daughter insists she has never eaten it. :crazy:

Maybe just try covering the pork chops with the soup broth, covering the pan, and then taking the cover off to brown the potatoes the last 15 minutes or so. It sounds like you're looking for a firmer and crunchier top to the potatoes, right? The other recipe sounds like the potatoes would be kind of mushy.
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sniffa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-08-08 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Yeah, the mushy has been my problem
Also, bland flavor. :puke:

That's funny, but apparently so f'n true. :rofl:

I think I may go that route. Again, thanks for your input. :hi:
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Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-08-08 07:57 PM
Response to Original message
4. What kind of potatoes are you using?
When you were growing up, she probably used generic all-purpose potatoes (Kennebecks, most likely -- the kind from Maine and PEI.) You'll get a very different result if you're using Idaho russets, Yukon golds, or red potatoes.

Frying the tater slices and putting them on top of the chops will help, and definitely be a miser on the broth. Also consider knocking back the heat 25 degrees and cook it a little bit longer.
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sniffa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-08-08 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Tomorrow, I'll be using reds (it's what we have left)
Yeah, I think less broth (and more powder?) may fix it.

Should I go for 300 then? or less? :shrug:
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Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-08-08 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. No. 325 is as low as I'd go.
Reds may hold up okay, but the PEI ones (all-purpose) are what the Cambridge area Portuguese restaurants use for their fried potatoes and they're awesome.

The link with the shroom soup mix sounds like a good hint, too. It would give some moisture to the chops. Maybe your mother used one of the other cream soups like cream of celery. They were staples for this sort of recipe.
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sniffa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-08-08 08:54 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Interesting
I won't use mushroom, but I may use a cream soup, if you think it would help. Celery sounds nasty too though. xP

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Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-08-08 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. The Campbells ones are all nasty IMHO
Edited on Tue Jul-08-08 09:03 PM by Gormy Cuss
but they were a standard ingredient in baked dishes with other convenience foods. Just an idea to keep in mind when you're playing around with the recipe.

on edit: maybe make a little white sauce and mix the soup mix in with it?
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housewolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-08-08 11:50 PM
Response to Original message
10. This might be what you are looking for....
The difference might be in browning the pork chops before baking. I'm not sure how the potatoes would crisp up, though - they'd have to be mostly cooked in the broth, then out of the broth to crisp up.

Pork Chop Bake Recipe
Ingredients:
4 pork chops, 1/2-inch thick
4 med. potatoes, sliced
1/2 env. Lipton onion soup mix (or mushroom)
1 1/2 c. water

Cooking Directions:
Brown chops; drain. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange peeled, sliced potatoes in greased baking dish, then chops. Add soup mix thoroughly blended with water.

Bake covered for 1 hour or until tender.




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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 12:01 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. I was just going to suggest the dry soup mix
I think that's going to be the ticket.

I recall a recipe from that era where dry rice was put in the bottom of a casserole, dry onion soup mix was sprinkled on it, chicken parts arranged over that, then a can of cream soup and a can of wine was poured over the top. Covered, and baked in the oven.
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Phoebe Loosinhouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-01-08 06:55 AM
Response to Original message
12. I was given a 1964 cook book that happens to have in it something like what you are looking for
Called "Pork Chop Magic" (!)

I always remembered your post on this, because so many times we had a favorite meal from childhood and then we try to recreate it, sometimes succesfully, more often not. Anyway, maybe the dish had a little more going on to make it as good as you remember. Heres the recipe.

Pork Chop Magic
6 loin chops
Salt and pepper to taste
Cooking oil
6 medium potatoes, thinly sliced, bioled
1 lg onion sliced
2 T butter
1 package dried mushroom or onion soup mix
2 1/2 C water
1/2 C sour cream
1/2 C dry vermouth
3 slices Swiss cheese halved (optional)

Brown seasoned pork chops in a small amount of oil and set aside. Place potatoes in 6 mounds in a 9x14 baking dish. Sautee onion in butter, add soup mix and water. Simmer until mixture thickens slightly. Add sour cream and vermouth. Place pork chop on each mound of potatoes, pour soup mixture over and top with cheese. Cover with foil, bake 30 minutes at 375 degrees.


Good luck! You know, this does sound like it would be pretty tasty, maybe I'll try it myself.
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-02-08 10:47 AM
Response to Original message
13. Try browning the pork chops first (in the cooking vessel if you can),
and then add the potatoes and pour in only enough broth to come up the sides of the chops about halfway (use thick cuts chops, too - they'll stay moister better), then cook at a lower temperature - say 325 - for about an hour. And cook them covered.

You'll get a nice braise that way, instead of baking or boiling.

If you want the potatoes real crispy, set them on top of the pork chops out of the liquid. They'll lose much of the flavor of the liquid, but they'll brown and be a little crispier.

I cook a meal like this fairly often because it's so simple to do, and my pork chops (or whatever meat) comes out nice and tender and moist.
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