If you want to cook pork chops that are tender, delicious, and saucy then you need to make chuletas a la jardinera. They’re quickly going to become one of your favorite dinners to make.
Chuletas A La Jardinera
Chuletas a la jardinera are trully delicious. A la jardinera means that it is prepared with different types of vegetables. In French, they also use the term a la jardiniere. In English, it will be something prepared with garden vegetables like my easy garden rice.
These garden-style pork chops are made in many countries in Latin America. In Puerto Rico, there are a few vegetables that are always used, and depending on the person they may add a few more. The vegetables that are a must are carrots, peas, corn, and green beans. Some people like to add small pieces of potatoes, onions, and peppers.
Different ways of cooking the Chuleta
The traditional way of cooking a chuleta for this recipe is to pan-fry it. But you can use other methods. You can bake, air fry it or even grill the pork chops. Then you just have to add the chuletas to the vegetable mix so the juices can penetrate the pork chops.
I like doing it the traditional way because the result is a very tender and juicy meat. I feel like air-frying pork chops makes them dry and not as juicy but it is an option.
- Seasonings- The seasonings used are adobo, sazon, black pepper, and thyme.
- Oil- The oil is used to mix all the seasonings. The oil also helps to pan-fry the pork chops.
- Pork chops- I always use pork chops with the bone in them because boneless tend to come out dryer. This is because boneless pork chops are leaner resulting in dryer meat.
- Garlic paste- I used 1 teaspoon of freshly minced garlic. If you use pre-made garlic minced from a tube from the supermarket you can use more because they tend to be milder in flavor.
- Tomato sauce- I use tomato sauce but you can also use tomato paste. Just use half of what the recipe indicates for sauce.
- Sofrito- I used 2 tablespoons of sofrito.
- Water- The water is added to have more broth or as we call it in Spanish: caldito. This is good to keep the pork chops and vegetables juicy.
- Mixed Vegetables- I used corn, peas, green beans, and diced carrots. You can find a mix of the vegetables frozen and canned. Of course, you can use fresh vegetables but I used frozen because it’s pretty convenient.
The pork chops in this recipe are seasoned in a Puerto Rican style. They have the usual adobo which is a mix of salt, garlic powder, black pepper, oregano, and turmeric. This gives the dish a distinct flavor that is very delicious. It also has sazon which gives a beautiful color to your food but also an umami flavor.
Do I have to let the pork chops marinate?
Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary to marinate the pork chops before cooking. The seasoning that sits on top of meat usually just stays on the top layer. You can season the pork chops and cook right away and you’ll see how delicious they are.
How To Make Chuletas A La Jardinera
1. Mix all the seasonings and garlic with the oil. Rub all the pork chops with the seasoning mix.
2. In a large pan over high heat sear the pork chops. This will give the pork chops a nice color and give flavor to the broth.
3. Cook the sofrito and tomato sauce. Add water, and pork chops and cook for 6 minutes. Make sure to cover the pan while it cooks. This will help to cook the pork chop faster with the steam and it will also keep it moist.
4. At the end add your vegetables and finish cooking. You want to add the vegetables now and not in the beginning to avoid mushy vegetables.
Keep the pork chops covered to prevent them from getting dry. The broth is good not only for keeping the chuletas juicy but is great to go over the rice.
You can add more vegetables to this recipe if you like. Adding onions, peppers or thinly sliced potatoes are all a good option.
How to store?
To store use an airtight container or you can even use the same pan you used to cook the chuletas. Hey, that means fewer dishes! Keep in your fridge for no more than 4 days. I have never frozen this recipe so I don’t know how well it can hold up.
How to reheat?
To reheat on the stove top it’s best to cover your pan and heat for 4-6 minutes on medium heat. The easiest way is to use the microwave and give it 35 seconds at a time.
What to serve with?
The best way to serve chuletas a la jardinera is with a big bowl of white rice. Then you take the broth and pour it over the rice and it tastes amazing! If you are more of a yellow rice type of person you can make rice with beans, or even an arroz con gandules. I sometimes like to eat the chuletas with french fries.
Chuletas A La Jardinera With Mixed Vegetables
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 4 pork chops
- 1 ¾ teaspoons adobo
- 1 ½ teaspoon sazon
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground thyme
- 1 teaspoon garlic paste
- 2 tablespoons sofrito
- ¼ cup tomato sauce
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup canned mixed vegetables
- ½ cup corn
- ¼ cup green beans
- Take 1 tablespoon of oil and mix in the adobo, sazon, black pepper, thyme, and garlic paste. Rub the seasoning paste on the pork chops until they’re fully covered.
- In a large pan over high heat add 1 tablespoon of oil. Cook the chuletas for 3 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Lower heat to medium-high. Add the sofrito and tomato sauce. Cook for 2 minutes while stirring. Add the pork chops and water. Cover the pan and cook for 6 minutes.
- Add vegetables, stir, and cover. Cook for another 6 minutes. Serve and enjoy.
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