Peter Falk’s Pork Chops with Vinegar Peppers

When you buy meat from the butcher, it’s only when you get it home that you see how HUGE it is compared to what’s on offer at the supermarkets. My tenderloin pork chops from Midhurst Butchers in Muswell Hill were mahoooooooooooooooosive!

This is my BIGGEST frying pan...

This is my BIGGEST frying pan…

Hence, I only did half of Peter’s recipe as it was for a spinster’s supper. Even then, I could only eat one, so now there are now two huge cooked chops in the freezer, plus three even bigger raw ones for another run through of this recipe. As Heather would say, I am a big old porky pachyderm. Why did I buy 6 pork chops as big as Frisbees when I knew I would be eating alone?

Because Peter said 6!

peter falk

I’ve been wanting to try this recipe for years, because I love Columbo, and because vinegar is my life force. I could probably drink vinegar from the bottle every single day. Instead I get my fix from endless pickles, Worcestershire sauce with everything and, well, vinegar itself. But I have had trouble pinpointing exactly what PF would have meant by vinegar peppers.  I’ve never seen such a thing here in the UK, and as you know, I like to be as true to the original recipe as I can.  I am particularly pernickety about peppers…

vinegar peppersWhere can I buy these in the UK?!

A few years ago when I started mooching around the internet there weren’t many leads, apart from a mention of a dish of the same name in the Sopranos Family Cookbook (I got hold of a copy but no real light was shed…). I asked in Mr R’s local Italian deli if they knew what would be meant by vinegar peppers, and they did that Italian shoulder shrugging thing and flatly said, “It’s not Italian”.


So when I did a google search recently, it was a real sign of the frenzy of recipe sharing on the internet these days. Pork chops with vinegar peppers are everywhere! I was reassured by this version of the recipe in particular, with its very thorough notes at the end about vinegar peppers.  So  I decided to go ahead and use something that is widely available now here in the UK – Pepperdew peppers. Mmmmmmmmmmmm!


Oh my goodness, Peter’s recipe was VERY good. I’m fiddling around with it a bit for THE BOOK.  But if you would like it before that happens, just drop me a line via my Contact page and I will send it to you.


As part of my new writing project I’m asking my lovely local wine shop – Prohibition Wines in Muswell Hill –  to recommend particular bottles for particular dishes and this was spot on for Peter’s pepperfest…  Perfecto. 


So, after all that, here’s a Marie Kondo update. I made a start on the paperwork at my folks’ place and got rid of 4 bin bags of love letters, college essays (hand written in those days), postcards and things I have kept for no apparent reason. I did keep SOME stuff and there are definitely some benefits of hoarding. This will make Paul, Heather and Moya laugh…  Some blurb by the film society run by the four of us…


70p for a double bill – those were the days eh?

6 Responses to Peter Falk’s Pork Chops with Vinegar Peppers

  1. Moya 29 Apr, 2015 at 3:01 am #

    Those were the days! Thank you so much for sharing. I’m surprised Mr. Tim Juby wasn’t another co-author. How did it take 4 of us to write that? And whose typewriter did we use? I still have all my handwritten essays–can’t bring myself to throw them out. Yet I managed to lose all the ones I wrote on computers from my Ph.D. days.

    I just spent $60 at the farmer’s market on beef so I know what you mean about your 6 pork tenderloins. I seem to spend about the same every week–and I’m not exactly stockpiling meat.

    • Jenny 29 Apr, 2015 at 6:46 am #

      Ha ha! Yep, thought you’d get a kick out of seeing that. It was quite a good feeling throwing away all those essays. I kept the “Study of a Single Film” stuff about King of Comedy though. Think I got a pretty good mark for that!

      I think it is worth paying extra for good meat. I made a burger last night with mince from a new butchers that is on my bus route home from work – divine! The other two butchers I use are a bit of a hike from my flat, but the fact that I can hop off and back on the bus and get me some delicious meat product whenever I want to now is brilliant.

      Don’t know about New York, but we are getting trendy butchers and fishmongers springing up here in London in all sorts of unexpected places at the moment. I am all for it!

  2. Moya 30 Apr, 2015 at 2:00 am #

    I did get a kick out of it! My King of Comedy essay is missing–I suspect Mum threw it out. I actually don’t mind as that one was typed and somehow there is something more special about the handwritten ones.

    Definitely agree about spending more on good meat. We get grass fed organic beef–the sirloin tip is amazing and I have some filet mignon in the freezer that I need to eat soon ($34 a lb). I’m just not sure how I want to cook it as I definitely don’t want to spoil it. I’ve also bought some flap steak on the butcher’s recommendation–he suggests cooking if in a Thai beef salad. As it’s finally spring and the blossoms are at long last out on the trees, it’s the right time for salads. Severin practically lives off beef stew these days but I don’t think he’ll want to eat salads–even meaty Thai ones–just yet.

    • Jenny 30 Apr, 2015 at 2:19 pm #

      Mmmmm – you are making me hungry! Mmm Thai beef salad sounds good!

  3. Moya 1 May, 2015 at 3:10 am #

    I’ll report back as soon as I make it–probably next week as we’re back in jumpers and winter coats today! Just looking for the best recipe I can find (I’ll eliminate the sugar regardless as I hate sweet and savory mixed–like Heather, I believe).

    • Jenny 4 May, 2015 at 12:24 pm #

      You are quite right, Heather hates meat with fruit! Weather is weird here too, cast not a clout until May is out!

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