Smothered Pork Chops in Onion Gravy

Down home cooking at it’s best and perfect for fall, these pork chops smothered in a gorgeous onion gravy aren’t your Grandma’s pork chops, or even you Mom’s. That is if your Mom was like mine and used a canned soup or a Lipton’s mix. These are succulent and moist, tender and never dry. The onion gravy, just thick enough to nap, then pool, is full of flavor.

Smothered Pork Chops with Onion Gravy
Smothered Pork Chops with Onion Gravy

Thank the folks at Cook’s Illustrated for taking down home to the next level. What do a bunch of New Yorker’s know about a Midwestern favorite like this? Well, a lot, apparently! Of course, I had to temper their recipe with just a dash of Iowa sensibility – no multiple pans and processes here. Just me and my cast iron skillet. And a bit of bacon doesn’t hurt, either.

While a bone-in chop is always a winner for flavor and moistness, this gentle braise on the stove-top or in the oven always produces tender meat.

Smothered Pork Chops in Onion Gravy
Smothered Pork Chops in Onion Gravy

Even the workhorse pork loin, which can dry up in a heartbeat is perfect here as long as it isn’t overcooked. Don’t buy the center loin chops at the store if you decide to go with a loin chop; it’s much less expensive to buy a whole loin and slice it to your specifications.

Do serve these Smothered Pork Chops with mashed potatoes rather than rice or noodles…Cook’s doesn’t know everything, after all! My Simple, Rustic Mashed Potatoes are especially good with this dish and can be put on the table for about 50 cents, the pork chops run around $3.88.

Smothered Pork Chops with Onion Gravy
Smothered Pork Chops with Onion Gravy

Smothered Pork Chops in Onion Gravy

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

  • 2 slices bacon, 1/4 inch pieces
  • 4 pork chops, 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick, preferably bone in
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 medium yellow onions, halved pole to pole and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 medium garlic cloves minced
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • green onion or parsley for garnish

Fry bacon in cast iron skillet or heavy oven proof pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate, leaving fat behind. There should be about 2 tablespoons bacon fat; if not, supplement with vegetable oil.

Pat pork chops dry with paper towels and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Brown chops in single layer until deep golden on first side, about 3 minutes. Flip chops and cook until browned on second side, about 3 minutes longer. Add onions to pan when chops are flipped. Transfer chops to large plate and set aside while onions finish cooking.

As onion cooks, add the tablespoon oil and two tablespoons water. Cook onions until softened and lightly browned and water is evaporated. Add in garlic and cook for a moment longer. Reduce heat and sprinkle flour over the top of the onions. Whisk in until smooth and cook, whisking frequently, until mixture is light brown, about the color of peanut butter, about two to three minutes. Whisk in chicken broth in slow, steady stream; increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil, stirring occasionally.

Return chops to skillet in single layer, covering chops with onions. Cover, and simmer gently or place in oven and cook until pork is tender, about 25 to 30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chops. Check by inserting a paring knife into the chops. There should be very little resistance,

If desired, transfer chops to warmed serving platter and tent with foil. Increase heat to medium-high and simmer sauce rapidly, stirring frequently, until thickened to desired consistency, about 5 minutes.

Cover chops with sauce, sprinkle with reserved bacon, and serve immediately.

from the kitchen of http://www.frugalhausfrau.com, adapted from Cooks Illustrated

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:
  • Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
  • Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Read {Strategies Applied} for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.

Kitchen & Cooking Hack:

Making small slits through the fat (or the edge) of a chop keeps it from curling while it cooks – Keeping the chop flat maximizes contact with the pan and ensures even cooking.

Slice through the fat and the pork chop won't curl when cooking
Slice through the fat and the pork chop won’t curl when cooking

Put Your own Spin on It:

    • Cook’s Illustrated suggesting using about a teaspoon of thyme and two bay leaves in the gravy.
    • Vary the pork chops according to budget and preference – just watch the timing if going thinner.

3 thoughts on “Smothered Pork Chops in Onion Gravy”

    1. Thanks, it is…and as I was thinking today, so begins the 10 to 12 pounds that I seem to put on every winter! Before I blogged, I think I was often flummoxed as to how/why that happens every year. When I put out a post, it’s so easy to see the change from summer to fall to winter in the types of food I make/eat!

      Tomorrow – your Farro Salad you just posted! I’ve been thinking about it all day!

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