Pork chops and applesauce might be fine, but if you can pair your pork chops with a salty, savory, slightly creamy gravy, why wouldn’t you? That sounds amazing (and it is) but I didn’t even mention yet that the pork chops also happen to be lightly pan-fried so that the exterior is perfectly crispy while the interior is oh-so juicy. This is the type of skillet dinner that’s simple but so delicious. Spoon that sauce over some mashed potatoes and you won’t hear a peep out of anyone at dinner – they’ll be too busy enjoying it.
There’s no stovetop to oven transfer here – all the cooking happens in your skillet on your cooktop. It works best in a cast iron but any skillet will do. First, you season the pork chops with a nice little spice mixture and dredge them lightly in some flour. You’ll sear them in a hot skillet in a little oil just until they’re brown on both sides – you don’t need to worry about them cooking through quite yet – and then set them aside while you start to build that gravy.
It starts with onions and garlic, as many great things do. You’ll cook the onions low and slow until they’re starting to caramelize and then add some garlic into the pan. Once that’s superbly fragrant, you’ll stir in a paste of flour and butter, followed by some chicken broth, which will thicken right up.
Cream is the final silky touch and at that point, you can nestle the pork chops back in the sauce to finish cooking through. A meat thermometer is really the best way to go with pork – let them get up to 145°F before you pull everything off the heat.
Southern Smothered Pork Chops
10m prep time
45m cook time
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 3-4 thick-cut bone-in pork chops (1 to 1 1/2 inches thick)
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, divided
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- In a small bowl, stir together the salt, paprika, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
- Season pork chops liberally with spice mixture on both sides.
- Take 1/2 cup of the flour and spread out on a large plate or shallow dish. Dredge each pork chop in flour on both sides and shake off excess.
- Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil. Once hot, brown pork chops until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and set aside.
- Add onion to skillet and cook until soft and starting to caramelize, 10-15 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.
- Push onion and garlic to one side of the pan and add butter to empty side. Once melted, mix remaining flour into butter. Cook, stirring constantly, until golden, 1-2 minutes.
- Gradually add chicken broth to flour mixture, whisking constantly. Once combined, stir together with the onions and garlic, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer until thick, about 15 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low and whisk in heavy cream. If sauce is too thick, you can thin with addition cream or chicken broth. Nestle pork chops in sauce, cover, and cook until a meat thermometer registers at least 145°F in the thickest part of the pork chop. This should take between 15 and 25 minutes depending on the size of your chops.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Sunday Supper Movement.