Maybe it's because I'm not a fan of pork chops to begin with but this recipe from the One Pot cookbook wasn't worth the effort to me. I make pork chops every so often because they are one of hub's favourites and I figured I'd had such success from this book I would give Pork Chops with Bacon & Cabbage a try. The entire dish of meat and vegetables is cooked all at once in a roasting pan...the 'one pot' in this case.
However, as I soon discovered, not all roasting pans are meant for the stove-top. The recipe calls for browning the chops in oil over high-heat, then cooking the bacon, then the vegetables (onions & cabbage) before making a sauce and transferring to an oven. My small stainless pan couldn't handle the direct high heat of the burners and got black scorch marks in two places. It was also way too small for the large wedges of cabbage, let alone all the other ingredients at once. I ended up with a smokey kitchen and having to switch to a sauté pan anyway. Once all the chops and bacon and wedges and onions were cooked separately and set aside, I didn't have any fat left in the pan and making the white sauce was a disaster. I couldn't achieve a smooth roux (even though I added more butter) and the sauce refused to combine, let alone thicken. Ugh! I put the whole mess back in the roaster and into the oven, hoping for the best but without high expectations.
Well...results weren't stellar. While the pork chops were tender, the cabbage was still pretty crunchy and the sauce was non-existent (it pretty much remained milk). There was little flavour to the dish despite the bacon (which usually fixes everything). I had to note on the page not to bother making this recipe again.
Because there are several other 'roasting pan' recipes I'd like to try I realized my little, on-the-cheaper-side roaster I've had since I got my first apartment, wasn't going to cut it and it was time to invest in a better one. While I do have the standard speckled black large pan for the Christmas turkey, when I did some quick research and comparing, even it is not meant for stove-top use (and I make gravy in it all the time). I then went to the store and read all the boxes and checked out many available models. There was a pretty red enamelled Kitchen-Aid covered roasting pan on sale and it caught my eye. However, it was for oven-use only so that was no good to me. I found one single box that had symbols for all the different heat methods: ceramic, coil, oven, etc. so I opened the box to take a look. It's this beautiful Lagostina brand and comes with a large lid, heavy duty rack with handles, and a lovely, extra large size pan that can accommodate a 24 pound turkey (bigger than I would ever cook). It had a shocking price tag of $279.99 but was on sale for $89.99. I bought it and am very pleased with the choice. Once I got home and unpacked the box I was thrilled with the size and quality. There is no way I could imagine myself (or anyone) paying almost $300 for a pan but for under $100, I thought it was worth it. It comes with a 30 YEAR guarantee, which is pretty crazy. It could outlive me! I looked up reviews and they were very good so I'm satisfied it will perform according to my needs. The fact that I can now safely brown meat and make gravy on the stove-top without damaging the roaster makes me happy and because of its oval shape I can actually fit the pan in the sink for washing. I'm excited now to roast something and will have to select another recipe from the book to try...it just won't be pork chops!