I hadn't eaten anything "smothered" in years (decades?) until developing this recipe. But as I think about it more, the technique of smothering pork chops isn't much different from the braising required with a boeuf bourguignon: get some good color on the meat, add some stock, and thicken the liquid with a bit of flour. In similar fashions, both techniques help build a depth of flavor that would be absent from skipping the latter steps.
Featured In: Smothered Pork Chops, or When Excess Is Just Right —Aaron Hutcherson
- Prep time 15 minutes
- Cook time 30 minutes
- Serves 4
bacon grease, or other fat suitable for frying
kosher salt, plus more to taste
black pepper, plus more to taste
center-cut pork chops (about 1/2-inch thick, 2 to 2 1/4 pounds total)
- Heat the bacon grease in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, combine the flour, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper in a bag or shallow baking dish, reserving 2 tablespoons of the seasoned mix. Dredge the pork chops in the seasoned flour mixture, shaking off any excess.
- When the grease is up to temperature*, gently add the pork chops and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. (You can check the temperature of the grease by tossing in a few flecks of flour into the pan and listening for a slow to moderate sizzle. If there is no sound or it is too raucous, your pan is too cold or too hot.) You may need to do this in batches to prevent overcrowding. Set the brown pork chops aside.
- Drain the skillet of the grease, leaving 2 tablespoons in the pan. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it starts to soften, about 1 minute; add the reserved 2 tablespoons seasoned flour and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute more.
- Add the chicken stock, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan, bring to a boil, and cook until thickened and the gravy coats the back of a spoon, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the pork chops to the gravy, reduce to a gentle simmer, cover loosely, and simmer until the pork chops are cooked through, about 15 minutes.
- Remove the pork chops from the skillet and set aside. Whisk in the mustard and season with some salt and pepper. Serve the pork chops with the gravy spooned over top.