16 September, 2008
Smothered Pork ChopsTags: southern
4 thick, center cut pork chops
1 cup salt
½ cup brown sugar
1 gallon water
3 slices country bacon, diced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon oil
salt & pepper
2 medium onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
Take a couple thick center cut pork chops (preferably not enhanced pork) and brine it in a mixture of water, salt and brown sugar for several hours in the fridge.
When ready to cook, cut 3 slices of good country bacon into 1/4 inch dice and fry it in a saucepan over medium heat until crispy. Fish out the bacon bits with a slotted spoon and set aside. If the bacon grease doesn’t equal 2 tablespoons, add enough oil to make it so. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour, and cook this mixture over medium heat until it’s darkened to the color of peanut butter, stirring frequently. Add 1 and a half cups of good chicken stock (either home made or canned, low sodium), mixing constantly until incorporated. Heat to a boil, stirring often, then cover, and set aside.
In a frying pan, heat over high heat, 1 tablespoon oil until smokey. Dry off the pork chops with paper towels, season with pepper, and put in the frying pan, making sure they’re not overlapping, and brown each side for 3 or 4 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
Reduce the heat, add a touch more oil, and 2 medium sliced onions, a teaspoon of salt, and a couple tablespoons of water. Cook this for 5 minutes, scraping the brown crusties from the pork chops from the bottom of the pan, until the onions are clear and the edges are lightly browned. Add 2 crushed cloves of garlic and a teaspoon of fresh thyme, and cook for another minute or two. Add the pork chops back into the pan, again in one layer, and cover with the onion mixture, and the gravy. Lower the heat and cover the pan, and simmer for 30 or 40 minutes (or until the meat thermometer reads 160).
Remove the chops one more time to a heated serving plate, and cover with foil. Reduce what’s left in the pan over high heat for 5 minutes or so, stirring often.
Serve the chops smothered in the gravy over mashed potatoes, rice or egg noodles. Sprinkle the bacon bits over the top.