This easy recipe for Pork Chops with Green Chilis and Onions is flexible and tasty. Credit: Courtesy of Sandy Oliver

These pork chops are simmered for a long time with lots of onion and mild green chilies, with a little garlic and cumin. You might serve them with rice and a green salad.

Inspired by chili verde, this turned out really well, ideal for a slow cooker, instant pot or even a slow oven. Plus, it doesn’t need tomatillos, which aren’t that easy to find, and turns a pork chop into as tender a dish as pulled pork.

The preparation requires only a few minutes of slicing and sautéing onions, browning the chops and smothering them under the onions and the chopped canned chilies. If you like cooking green chilies, maybe even add a jalapeno or two from the produce section of the grocery. For me, a nice little 6-ounce can of green chilies is a pantry staple, and comes in handy whenever I want more intense flavor without capsicum’s painful bite. (I’m a sissy when it comes to hot peppers.)

Of course, you can also heat it up with hot chilies, red pepper flakes, cayenne or splashes of your favorite hot sauce, if you have one.

In this dish, one can of chilies worked for three pork chops. If you cook more chops, then just add another can.

Actually, you can make this dish without a whole lot of recipe precision.

Figure on one chop, plus one medium onion, a clove of garlic and a couple tablespoons of green chilies per person. A sprinkle of cumin, if you like it, improves flavor. And salt and pepper, of course.

It is a small thing, but for this dish, I cut my onion in half lengthwise, and then sliced each half, lengthwise. When you sauté them, the onion stays in lovely shreds.

You might like to cook an extra chop or two, then you can pull it apart and stuff it into a taco or soft tortilla with some salsa for another meal.

I liked the integrity of a whole chop on my plate. And since it was so tender, I could eat it with a fork. Besides, cooking any piece of meat with the bone-in improves and deepens the flavor.

Still, somebody in this household doused his chop with barbecue sauce. There is just no accounting for taste.

Pork Chops with Green Chilies and Onions

Yield varies

Olive oil

1 medium onion per person, sliced lengthwise

1 clove of garlic per person, finely chopped

2 tablespoons mild green chilies per person, more or less to taste

1 pork chop per person

A sprinkle of cumin, optional

Salt and pepper

Hot water or chicken broth

Put olive oil into a heavy skillet, and over a medium low heat, cook the onions until they have softened, then add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Push the onions to the edge of the pan and brown the pork chops on each side, then tuck the onions all around and over the chops.

Add the chilies with the liquid from the can. Sprinkle the optional cumin over the contents of the pan as if you were salting or peppering them. Then repeat with salt and pepper.

Add just enough water or broth to cover the bottom of the pan. Cover with a lid.

Simmer for 1-2 hours, or until the pork chops are fork tender, checking from time to time to see that there is liquid in the bottom of the pan and adding more water or broth as needed.

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Sandy Oliver, Taste Buds

Sandy Oliver Sandy is a freelance food writer with the column Taste Buds appearing weekly since 2006 in the Bangor Daily News, and regular columns in Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors magazine and The Working...