"Twenty years ago, we went to southwest Iowa and stayed awhile at the Tall Corn Motel in the town of Shenandoah." Read Jane and Michael Stern's essay, "Good Neighbors" Recipe: Elegant Pork Chops . A.J. Wilhelm

Authors Jane and Michael Stern gave us this recipe from Virginia Miller, a home cook from Iowa who bakes thick-cut pork chops in a sweet, tomatoey sauce.

Yield: serves 4


  • 4 double-cut, bone-in pork chops
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground 
black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. molasses
  • 1 34 cups ketchup
  • 1 12 cups chili sauce, such as Heinz
  • 2 tbsp. French dressing
  • 1 tbsp. dry mustard


  1. Put pork chops into a baking dish and season with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, whisk 1⁄2 cup brown sugar, soy sauce, molasses, and 1 cup water and pour over meat. Cover with plastic wrap and let pork chops marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
  2. Heat oven to 375°. Drain pork chops and transfer to a 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Whisk together remaining brown sugar, ketchup, chili sauce, French dressing, mustard, and 1⁄3 cup water in a small bowl. Pour sauce over pork chops and bake, turning pork chops and basting with sauce occasionally, until pork chops are tender and sauce has thickened, about 45 minutes. Let pork chops rest for 10 minutes before serving.