Pork, why is it so tough?? Why am I such a failure at pork cooking?

The sitch: Family I work for buys center cut boneless pork chops. I cook them one way and then another. I try a variety of things. Every time they are tough and sad. It wouldn’t matter so much except that I am cooking for a six year old who goes full drama queen if the meat is too tough to chew easily.

I grew up on pork tenderloin so Idk what the hell to do with this monstrous food item that obviously does not want to be eaten. Although I have never had this problem in my own kitchen and I’m pretty sure my roommate and I have actually done pork chops before (with apple cider vinegar and apricots in the slow cooker, yum!) so I am tempted to blame the brand of meat they buy here. Although our pork chops had the bone in I think? Idk it was a while back.

Today at work I have chopped the meat up and stuck it in the slow cooker with a jar of salsa verde and some veg, figuring that the combo of an acidic sauce and the slow cooking HAS to result in tender meat. So far my fork-prodding is inconclusive since it isn’t done yet but the meat still seems pretty tough tbh.

What is the secret? Should I have marinated the pork for hours first? I feel like I have marinated pork at work in the past without any better result. My mom has this meat tenderizer thing she used to use for venison, that has a bunch of sharp needles you stab the meat with (apologies for that image), maybe that would help? Should I just give up on life and happiness altogether? Or maybe making sure the crock pot is turned low and then letting it cook for like a whole day is the thing? I had it on high at first today bc I didn’t get it started before noon and I want it done at dinner time. One time I tried this thing where you brown the outside of the meat in a fry pan first and then stick in the slow cooker, and that just seemed to make it all worse.


Hellllp meeee plz