Those of you who have been with me for the past few weeks are aware that my eating habits are in a state of flux. Once it entered my life, the spiralizer set about changing me, as new loves often attempt. It was successful to an extent. Though I’ve not increased the number of my meatless days, I have enjoyed a greater number of meatless suppers. Even so, there are limits to my meat-free ways. When the temperature gets and stays well below freezing, I crave comfort food which, for this carnivore, means a meat dish of some sort. Enter today’s recipe, smothered pork chops.
I’ve watched countless chefs prepare this dish, each adding their own special touch. I shied away from preparing it because I have a history of being gravy-challenged, unless you prefer a gloppy, lump-filled mess. Lucky for me, and anyone seated around my table, that’s no longer the case. Who says you can’t reach an old dog new tricks? So, with my new-found gravy-making skills, it was time to smother some pork chops — and I haven’t looked back.
The recipe itself is surprisingly simple and there are plenty of opportunities to make it your own. For this recipe, I make a gravy using mushrooms, onions, and garlic with chicken stock and a little milk. You may wish to add jalapeños or perhaps make more of a milk gravy. Buttermilk is a good substitution, as well. Don’t have milk? Don’t worry about it. Replace it with some white wine and you’ll still have a tasty gravy. In short, so long as you’ve got the chops, you can make this for dinner tonight.
One word of caution. Although the chops will be pulled off the heat when not quite finished cooking, the time needed to get to that point will vary greatly depending on the thickness of the chops. Steer clear of really thick chops. They’ll require a longer cooking time, at lower heat, or they’ll brown but remain raw on the inside. That could be a problem later in the process, when you return the chops to the pan with the gravy. Rather than cook them together for 10 minutes or so, they’ll need to stay in the pan for quite a bit longer. For me, that causes the gravy to thicken far too much. (Gravy-challenged, remember?)
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Smothered Pork Chops Recipe
- 2 tbsp olive oil to start, possibly more later in the process
- pork chops, medium thickness, 1 per serving
- 1 small to medium onion, sliced
- 6 mushrooms sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely diced or grated
- ¼ cup flour
- 1½ cups chicken stock – vegetable or pork stock may be substituted
- ¼ cup milk – buttermilk or cream may be substituted
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat olive oil in a large fry pan over medium heat.
- Once oil is hot, place pork chop(s) into the pan and cook until browned on each side — about 5 minutes per side. Remove to a plate.
- Place onion into the pan and sauté for a couple of minutes before adding the mushrooms. Continue to sauté until onions are translucent and mushroom cooked to your liking.
- Add garlic and continue to sauté for about a minute.
- Remove all but 4 tbsp of oil from the pan. If need be, add enough oil to the pan so that the amount of fat/oil in the pan equals the amount of flour added in the next step.
- Add the flour to the pan, stir, and make a roux. No need to make a dark roux but it should be cooked for a couple of minutes.
- Add the chicken stock to the pan in thirds, mixing well between additions to eliminate lumps.
- Reduce heat to med-low, add the milk, and stir to combine.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Return the pork chops to the pan, spoon gravy over them, and heat until cooked to your satisfaction, usually 5 to 10 minutes, Turn the chops mid-way through.
- Serve immediately with plenty of gravy for smothering.
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You may need to adjust the gravy ingredient amounts to suit the number of chops to be served. In the photos, that is one big chop and there’s more than enough gravy to smother it.
Milk gravy is a southern tradition. If that’s your preference, you can easily make it here. Just reverse the quantities of the chicken stock and the milk. Be sure to test for seasoning before serving.
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It’s déjà vu all over again …
I recently prepared a pasta with mascarpone for dinner and thought it was about time we revisited making the creamy cheese. (Hard to believe it’s been 4 years since I first shared that recipe.) Mascarpone is far easier to make than you might think and certainly cheaper than any that you can buy. Once made, why not use some in a strawberry-balsamic parfait just like the one pictured? You can learn all about it when you click HERE.
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Coming soon to a monitor near you …
Zia’s Baked Calamari
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