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Smothered Pork Chop

Posted by & filed under Pork.

 

Click HERE for details on my Smothered Pork Chops cooking technique.

Serves 4

Be sure to use low-sodium chicken broth in this recipe; regular chicken broth can result in an over-seasoned sauce.  Serve the smothered chops with a starch to soak up the rich gravy.  Simple egg noodles is my family’s favorite, but rice or mashed potatoes also work well.

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces (about 3 slices) bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1-3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 bone-in rib pork chops, 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick (about 7 ounces each), patted dry with paper towels
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2 medium yellow onions, halved and sliced thin (about 3-1/2 cups)
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves

Directions:

1) Fry the bacon in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and the fat is rendered, 8 to 10 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve leaving the fat in the pan (you should have 2 tablespoons bacon fat; if not, supplement with vegetable oil).  Reduce the heat to medium-low and gradually whisk the flour into the fat until smooth.  Cook, whisking frequently, until the mixture is light brown, about the color of peanut butter, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the chicken broth in a slow, steady stream; increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Cover and remove form the heat and set aside.

2) Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over high heat until smoking.  Meanwhile, sprinkle the pork chops with 1/2 teaspoon pepper.  Brown the chops in a single layer until deep golden on the first side, about 3 minutes.  Flip the chops and cook until browned on the second side, about 3 minutes longer.  Transfer the chops to a large plate and set aside.

3) Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the onions, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the water to the now-empty skillet.  Using a wooden spoon, scrape up the browned bits on the pan bottom; cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are softened and browned around the edges, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Return the chops to the skillet in a single layer and cover them with the onions.  Pour in the reserved sauce and any juices released by the pork chops; add the bay leaves.  Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the pork is tender and a pairing knife inserted into the chops meets very little resistance, about 30 minutes.

4) Transfer the chops to a warmed serving platter an tent with foil.  Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer the sauce rapidly, stirring frequently, until thickened to a gravy-like consistency, about 5 minutes.  Discard the bay leaves, stir in the parsley, and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper to taste.  Cover the chops with the sauce, sprinkle with the reserved bacon, and serve immediately.

VARIATIONS

Smothered Pork Chops with Cider and Apples

Follow the recipe for Smothered Pork Chops, substituting apple cider for the chicken broth and 1 large or 2 small Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/3 inch wedges, for 1 onion, and increasing the salt to 1/2 teaspoon in step 3.

Smother Pork Chops with Spicy Collard Greens

Follow the recipe for Smothered Pork Chops, increasing the oil in step 3 to 2 tablespoons, omitting 1 onion, and increasing the garlic to 4 cloves.  Just before returning the browned chops to the pan in step 3, add 4 cups thinly sliced collard greens and 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes.

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