Smothered Pork Chops
This great recipe depends on three things:
- The roux must be dark – cook the flour and fat until it is a deep brown.
- The chops must be seared. Press them flat and be sure the pan is hot.
- The onions should be browned at the edges.
All this means there may be a lot of smoke in the kitchen, so use a high setting on your stove fan from the outset.
3 slices bacon, cut into ¼ inch pieces
2 tbsp flour
1 ¾ cups/400 ml low-sodium chicken broth
4 bone-in rib loin pork chops, ½ to ¾ inches (about 2 cm) thick
Freshly ground black pepper
2 medium yellow onions, halved pole to pole and sliced thin (about 3 ½ cups)
2 tbsp water
2 medium garlic cloves, minced (aout 2 tsp)
1 tsp minced fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp minced fresh parsley
Make a roux
- Fry bacon in a small sauce pan over medium heat, until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon, drain and reserve for later use.
- There should be about 2 tbsp of fat in the pan. If not, add oil to make 2 tbsp. Reduce heat and stir in flour until smooth. Cook, stirring frequently until the mixture is about the color of peanut butter, or even darker.
- Stir in broth in a steady stream keeping the mixture smooth. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Cover and remove from heat until later.
Brown the chops
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet until very hot. Dry the pork chops on both sides with a paper towel and sprinkle with pepper. Lay the chops in a single layer and brown until a deep golden color. Turn and brown the other side. Transfer to a large plate and set aside.
Prepare the onions
With the skillet empty, add 1 tbsp oil, the onions, ¼ tsp salt and 2 tbsp of water . Scrape the skillet to loosen the brown bits from searing the chops. Adjust the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the edges of the onions are browned.
- Stir in the garlic and thyme, and cook briefly.
- Return the chops to the skillet and place the onions on top. Pour in the roux and any juices from the chops.
- Add the bay leaves. Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer until pork is tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
- Transfer chops to a serving plate and place in a warm oven.
- Increase heat and bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce until sauce thickens. Remove bay leaves, add parsley and correct seasoning.
- Remove chops from oven and pour sauce over them. Sprinkle on the reserved bacon. Serve immediately.
Serve with: Mashed potatoes, rice, egg noodles
Source: "Cook’s Illustrated", September 2002
Copyright © 2001-2012 by The Still Waters Group
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