Friday, March 18, 2011

Smothered Pork Chops

 I always hear about how there are no more bones on meat anymore (Michael Pollan), and how we're missing out because of it.  So the other day, instead of the thin, boneless pork chops I normally buy, I purchased these massive bone-in monstrosities.  And I have to say, I'm not the biggest fan, especially in a meal that is over noodles.  Therefore, I highly recommend this recipe with a boneless pork chop, as the flavors were very nice and the sauce did go quite nicely with the noodles.  It was just hard to unsmother the pork, and cut it while it was sliding around on the pasta.  It may be indicative of my dependence on mass produced food, but keep taking the bones out of my pork chops, please!

Serves 4
Time: 1 hour 15 minutes (includes 30 minutes simmering time)

4 slices bacon, cut into 1/4 in. pieces
2 T. flour
1 3/4 low sodium chicken broth
2 T. vegetable oil
4 thick cut (BONELESS) pork chops, patted dry with paper towels
black pepper
2 medium yellow onions, sliced thin
2 T. water
3 medium garlic cloves, minces
1/2 t. fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
2 T. minced fresh parsley leaves

Fry the bacon in a small saucepan over medium heat until lightly browned and fat is rendered, 8 to 10 minutes.  Transfer bacon to a plate and reserve, leaving 2 T of grease in the pan.  Remove any extra and supplement with vegetable oil if you don't have enough.  Reduce the heat to medium low and whisk in flour until smooth, cooking for about 5 minutes.  Whisk in the chicken broth in a slow stream and increase the heat to high.  Boil and stir occasionally.  Cover and remove from heat.

Heat 1 T. oil in a 12 in. skillet over high heat until smoking.  While the oil is heating (will take a while) sprinkle the pork chops with 1/2 t. pepper.  Brown the chops once the oil has started smoking, and leave for 3 minutes.  It will be deeply golden at this time.  Flip and cook until browned on the other side, another 3 minutes.  Transfer to a plate.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 T. oil, onions, 1/4 t. salt and water to the skillet.  Scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Cook, stirring often until the onions are softened and browning, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and thyme, cook for about 30 seconds.  Place the chops back in the skillet and cover them with onions.  Pour in the sauce, and add the bay leaves.  Cover and reduce to low and simmer for 30 minutes.

Transfer the pork chops to a plate and tent with foil.  Increase the heat to medium high and simmer rapidly until thickened into a gravy like consistency, about 5 minutes.  Remove the bay leaves, stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cover the chops with sauce and serve immediately.

~As per the recommendation of the book, we served these over egg noodles because the sauce paired well with pasta.
~The original recipes has you sprinkle the bacon over top of the pork chops, but B and I found this to be overkill.  Save the bacon for topping a salad, soup or baked potato, and enjoy the pork chops as pork chops.

adapted from The New Best Recipe by the editors of Cook's Illustrated
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  1. With a sauce as tasty and flavourful as this you can get away with boneless meat, and as you say, it makes for easier eating. Doesn't fresh thyme smell amazing, and so great with pork!

  2. Lovely sauce! I would also go for a boneless meat with this.
    The bone-in meat should be enjoyed on its own - with a delicious rub, of course, and a side of veggies or a salad.

  3. Mmmm, this looks lovely, Lauren! Mouthwatering scrumptious! :)

    Have a wonderful weekend,

  4. Wow, that looks incredible! I am totally with you on preferring my meat to be boneless! I know it can help with flavor, and moisture... But seriously, it's such a pain!

  5. Just found your blog via Hester Casey. Very nice! And we share two favorite loves -- reading and cooking! I'll be back soon.

  6. Hi there,
    Thanks for your comment on my blog. I'm glad because now I've found yours. This is a great recipe; one that my Dad would love! The little bits of bacon in it would ensure its so flavourful..

  7. It looks so good. I am going to try it.



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