Saturday, February 27, 2010

Because Covered Pork Chops are not the Same as Smothered Pork Chops

Even though I've always found the name, "smothered pork chops," a little unsettling, it's one of my favorite southern recipes. A beautiful combination of dark, rich onion gravy covering pan-fried pork chops.

While the name may have some other more nefarious connotations, it really is quite appropriate. I mean, what else woud we use? "Covered pork chops," doesn't work. Swamped? Enveloped? Gravyfied? No, smothered pork chops is exactly what these are.

The secret to this very simple recipe is to take your time and really brown the onions well. Short of being totally black, you really can’t cook them too dark. This will give your gravy its deep, rich taste, and just as importantly, its mouth-watering color.

These are definitely going in the cookbook, so as always, if you give them a try, please let me know what you thought. Enjoy!



Ingredients:
4 large pork chops, about 1 inch thick
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 large yellow onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 rounded tablespoon flour
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup water
4 cups cooked rice, optional

90 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Chef John, Why pour off the oil only to put more butter to brown the onions? Can't the oil be reused?

Livia said...

Looks absolutely delicious!
Must try in the near future...

Chef John said...

You could use the oil to fry the onions, but i like the taste of the butter cooked onions better, and I don't want double the fat, so I discard the oil.

Anonymous said...

Easy and just a few ingredients, will definitely try this. Love pork, the other white meat.

Anonymous said...

Hello Chef John,

Instead of pork could I use beef? If yes, what cut of beef would you recommend?

Thanks

Chef John said...

you could, but don't overcook. any steak cut would be ok.

Anonymous said...

Salisbury steak?

Chef John said...

sure, give it a try

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say that I haven't cooked my entire life and your blog seriously inspired me to start. Your explanations are PERFECT and the way you say things makes it sound so simple, which makes me believe I can do it (and so I do)! So far I've only made the aioli garlic bread but it was fabulous. Thank you, this blog is absolutely amazing.

Chef John said...

wow, thanks!! glad to hear!

Anonymous said...

Hi Chef John!! Ok now you've done it over the top with this chop recipe. You have gone made a recipe vid for just about every dish I absolutely love and some new ones I never knew I would love. Plus you have shown me how to make these sinfully delicious creations which has made me a SMASH hit 'cook' around my circle of friends. You have only one dish left on my list of wanting to learn how to make better--beef wellington...here is hoping the future inspires you to teach us the secrets of wellington. I do a crappy version using Pillsbury Crescent Roll dough as the puff pastry (puff pastry scares me). It works sorta, but could be far better. Don't you like Wellington too enough to make that a project for this year? :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Chef John!! Ok now you've done it over the top with this chop recipe. You have gone made a recipe vid for just about every dish I absolutely love and some new ones I never knew I would love. Plus you have shown me how to make these sinfully delicious creations which has made me a SMASH hit 'cook' around my circle of friends. You have only one dish left on my list of wanting to learn how to make better--beef wellington...here is hoping the future inspires you to teach us the secrets of wellington. I do a crappy version using Pillsbury Crescent Roll dough as the puff pastry (puff pastry scares me). It works sorta, but could be far better. Don't you like Wellington too enough to make that a project for this year? :)

Matthew said...

Surprisingly, we Chinese have a similar dish named "Porkchops and onions with rice" with the exact same ingredients and brownish gravy, however we Chinese don't use buttermilk or butter.

It's more of a "lunchbox" type of dish in Hong Kong, given that Hong Kong is a former Briths colony, I won't be surprised that it is not an authentic Chinese dish but a western one instead.

I wonder which culture plagiarized whom's

Chris K. said...

That's the great thing about food and culture - so much exchange of ideas that it's difficult to tell where one cuisine begins and another ends.

But it's unlikely this dish was "plagiarized" but rather developed concurrently. Pork and onions have been consumed in Europe and China for thousands of years. And let's face it - they taste really good together!

I'm curious about the lack of pork stock in French haute cuisine. Why is that? Considering that almost every part of a pig can be used, there is no codified process (that I know of) for using pork stock.

The Japanese figured it out; tonkatsu ramen is delicious. So why not the French? Was it just a cultural preference?

iliea said...

my favorite way to eat pork chops is topped with caramelized onions. i have always used red wine to cook the onions in the past. it makes for a sweet sauce. Thanks for posting this! YAY Chef John!

Scrofula said...

Huh. I made basically the same dish a while ago without realizing that it was an actual, known dish. But this version looks better.

Non-Chef John said...

Chef John, this looks very similar to "Country Style Steak" (also very popular here in the South), which utilizes cube steak (or cubed steak). The steak, however, is simmmered until it's tender as butter. Could I use this recipe for Country Style Steak?

Chef John said...

sure, why not. let me know how it comes

Roz said...

I just made this dish tonight, it was delicious! My husband came home from work and said the place smelled like a restaurant. The rice was so tasty with the gravy. It was like nothing I have ever had over rice. The onions kind of burned while I was caramelizing them, was that because I had the heat up too high? In the end they still tasted wonderful.

Chef John said...

If the sauce tasted wonderful, then you didn't burn the onions. They must be dark brown. Maybe it was a little high, but sounds like it worked as intended. :-)

Confused Mos said...

wow just tried it out today it was amazing thanks for the recipe, goiing try yhe ginger and spicy chicken next LOL

Anonymous said...

Made this pork just yesteday, burned my garlic so that tasted through, but other than that it was very smooth and delicious!

Chris Dressner said...

Chef John, just wanted to say I always check your site first whenever I want to try something new, I've been a fan since I tried the clam spaghetti with capers. That one is favorite of mine now. I can't wait to try this one it looks fantastic. Keep it up John!

Jesse said...

Why do you recommend against beef broth?

Chef John said...

tastes like beef

Jesse said...

The chicken/pork flavor combo is okay though?

Chef John said...

Yes! (that's why I used it) ;-)

Jace said...

Hi Chef John, What can I substitute for buttermilk if I can't get it at my supermarket? Thanks!

Chef John said...

sour cream or yogurt

Lilian said...

Hi I made this tonight and I must say the recipe is simple yet it turns out delicious. My dad literally ate 2 pieces of pork chops (and in my opinion they were quite large). I made extra sauce (about 1 1/2 x the original amount) and I added in an extra onion. The pork chops turned out to be really tender and moist when its smothered in the sauce. Are they suppose to turn out like that Chef John? I also browned the onion until they were dark brown and caramelized and when I poured the chicken stock in I stirred the mixture around and scraped the browned bits off the pan to deglaze it and get out all the yummy goodness from the pan. I was thinking of perhaps using pork stock instead of chicken stock the next time...is this a good idea? Either way I wouldn't mind sticking to this recipe! Thanks again!

Nuno said...

Hello, tonight i tried this recipe for dinner and it worked out great and tasted wonderful. I did have to make some small changes to adapt to my way of cooking and diet but it was just changing the vegetable oil for olive oil and skipping the milk.
Also i served with white rice and cherry tomatoes, my little brothers loved it.
Thanks for the great recipe!

mrslaurahill said...

Hi Chef John! This may be a VERY stupid question, but can I cook this whole recipe in like a LeCreuset stockpot thingie? I am asking because I only have non-stick pans which aren't the best for the onions and the deglazing part.. what do you think?

Chef John said...

sure!

Mysticl said...

Hi Chef John

I have enjoyed many of your recipes here and so far they have all been top notch winners. I saw this today and it looked so good I thought I'd give it a go. I didn't have any chops but I thought I'd try it with boneless chicken breasts instead since that's what I had on hand and I figured the gravy would compliment them nicely as well. I was very pleased with the result although I will be sure and try this with chops next time to compare. I did not have any buttermilk so I used plain greek yogurt instead and it worked well. Thanks for another great meal!

lilian85 said...

If you don't have buttermilk would milk and a bit of lemon juice work? O would sour cream or yoghurt work better? I am currently in malaysia and can't find buttermilk anywhere even in those supermarkets that import goods from overseas. =(

Chef John said...

a bit of yogurt would be fine.

lilian85 said...

Okay. I read a few online recipes and they say that to make homemade buttermilk just add 1tbsp lemon juice/vinegar to 1 cup milk and stand for 15 mins. Another alternative is 3/4 cup milk and 1/4 cup yoghurt. Is this likely to work to make buttermilk? Reviews have indicated that the taste is similar but not texture so don't use it as a substitute if ur making pancakes.

Lilian said...

Ooops sorry typo error. 1/4 cup milk and 3/4 cup yoghurt.

Chef John said...

I wish I could tell you, but I've never tried those methods. Let me know what happens.

Lilian said...

Ok, I'll give it a try...milk with a bit of lemon juice and I think I'll add some lemon zest too with some thyme to give it more tanginess. Probably might end up like the chicken and milk recipe from jamie oliver. I'll let u know how it goes.

JAGS52982 said...

My wife made this last night. She used pork steaks instead of pork chops. What a great dinner! Thanks for the great recipe.

Anonymous said...

Chef John, made this for din din tonight and it was awesome. I like that the ingredients were mostly at hand. I used yogurt instead of buttermilk because I am going out of town and didn't want to throw out the rest of the buttermilk, will try it the proper way next time. It was vanilla yogurt (thought it was plain) wont do that again, still tasted good though.

By the way, I discovered my 'inner butcher' and made phat pork chops from a pork roast and saved tons some money, nearly half the price at my supermarket. 2 foodwishes with one meal, thanks man!

Marko said...

Dear Chef John,

First of all you are a living legend. Second of all, my roommate and I made this meal literally an hour ago and absolutely loved it. Your explanation of everything is so simple to follow, and your humor always cracks me up. I wish you the best!

-Marko

Chef John said...

so glad, thanks!!

Eric said...

I made this last night and we loved it! I noticed in the video when you are finishing the sauce, there is a brief shot of the pan bottom that looks blackened. I thought I was being careful but my SS pan had large blackened areas that are resistant to cleaning.

Will you share your tips on cleaning a nice quality SS pan with us?

Thanks,

Eric

Eric said...

I made this last night and we loved it! I noticed in the video when you are finishing the sauce, there is a brief shot of the pan bottom that looks blackened. I thought I was being careful but my SS pan had large blackened areas that are resistant to cleaning.

Will you share your tips on cleaning a nice quality SS pan with us?

Thanks,

Eric

Chef John said...

Sorry, no secret tips, I just use soap and hot water.

Anonymous said...

Hi chef! Would you recommend to brine the pork used in this recipe? If so, how is it done best? Also, how long do you fry the pork per side? Is it on high heat? Thanks much!

Rose from Holland said...

Hi Chef, I made this tonight and it was even better than I imagined! The meat was sooooo tender en moist, and the gravy was perfect!!
10/10!

Chef John said...

Yes it would be less but no way I can give you exact time. Go by internal temp of 150. Then turn off.

J. B. said...

beautiful recipe! it was easy even for a young cook like me!

Anonymous said...

Hey Chef John,

Can you use the pan-sear, throw in the oven for 8 minutes @ 375 technique with a chicken breast? I saw that one in another pork chop video that disappeared from your blog but is on youtube.

The breast will be sliced and put in some homemade tortillas.

But generally, I never know the most effective way to cook a chicken breast. I'm hoping I can do it similar to pork chops. Do I still have to use the simple marinate you showed us? (rice vinegar, garlic, bbq sauce).

Thanks,

Andrew

Chef John said...

Sorry, depends on the size. I would give you a time, just cook until done (165 internal temp) As far as marinades, there are hundreds! Search my recipes for "marinade" and you should see lots.

foreveryang said...

dang, i burned the onions while glazing... gotta try the sauce again...

foreveryang said...

did the sauce again. i realized it was the butter that was burnt. probably set the flame too high. although i lost the left-over from frying the pork, it still taste great. yum...

by the way, i used the lemon/milk substitute to buttermilk ... it still taste great. :)

Julia said...

another great family recipe...between my kids and their friends, I'll be serving 9 tonight and am going completely over the top by making the all american mac and cheese to go with it...but hey, a side of asparagus will make up for all the fat right?

Anonymous said...

Doesn't the buttermilk curdle when it is heated?

Anonymous said...

Just found your site and can't wait to try some recipes. I love to cook, love to bake. If only I could do this as a profession life would be great. I also love that you're so personal with your site.

André said...

Nice down-to-earth meal.

When I brown onions, I prefer Spanish onions. They are a little sweeter. That supports the caramelization. For that I sometimes also add a very small pinch of sugar at the beginning.

Anonymous said...

#Fantastic, Johnny-o!
I'm gonna try that tomorrow night!

Giles said...

Thanks, chef John. My Louisiana mother lives on in this recipe. She made this dish all the time for when Daddy came home from work. And of course it was over rice, what else? I never really knew how she did it 'til now.
Thanks so much

Kris said...

Chef John,

I love this recipe. You have done it again. Simple, tasty with a splash of technique. And you still manage to trim the fat when you can.

Kris

Anonymous said...

A brilliant recipe, well shown, just made it for a Sunday meal. The folks loved it. I finished it with a bit of chopped parsley to freshen things up. It was delicious. Thanks Chef John.

Orestis

Anonymous said...

is there another alternative for the butter milk?

Chef John said...

Some use plain yogurt. Or leave out.

Karen @ THEBUZYBUG said...

Chef John, I made this last week and my family was smacking their lips and licking their fingers!! THAT NEVER HAPPENS!! It was DELICIOUS! Making it again today!! GOT A QUESTION? What kind of pot did you use? Stainless steel?

Chef John said...

yes, SS. thanks!

Lisa said...

This is now a go-to dish. Thank you for a meal everyone in my family agreed on!

Anonymous said...

Can I use EVOO?

1Bigg_ER said...

WOW!! I did something wrong because mine did not look as brown BUT I definitely did something right on the taste department.

1Bigg_ER said...

Tried this again, NAILED IT! The onions have to be to close to "almost burnt" for that mouthwatering color. Thanks Chef John.

Up next......LASAGNA.

Emily A said...

Very very good! I was a little worried about my sauce because it looked lighter than in the video, but after some time simmering and the addition of the pork juice is started to look right. Best pork chops I've made! Thank you! I will definitely make this a keeper!

Peg said...

You are the Mr. Miyagi (from the Karate Kid) of the cooking world...I'm tired of being the butt of the joke because I never properly learned how to cook! This dinner tasted so amazing! Thanks for making the kitchens - and the dining rooms - of America a much better (and safe) place!

1Bigg_ER said...

Quick question Chef John, do you rub (pat) the poultry seasoning on the chops or add it to the sauce?

Chef John said...

on the chops. btw, you know you're allowed to watch the videos multiple times, right? ;)

1Bigg_ER said...

HA! I've watched the video at least 10 times, made the chops 4 times, tomorrow will be the 5th time. I just never heard that part....until today. LOL

parisrae said...

Hi Chef John...What a funny man you are! Question. My husband would like me to just fry pork chops. I always, no matter what I do, dry them out. This is why I landed here on your site because of the tutorial videos and because there is braising going on. I feel safe with liquid. I am going to try your smothered onions over my chops tonight depending if they thaw out in time or tomorrow night. I will comment the results afterwards but in the mean time; could you plan to do an easy successful flavorful succulent video on frying the pork chops (preferably bone in)? Or is it possible that fried pork chops can be all that?

parisrae said...

It sure helps to have a video to show you exactly how each step is supposedchrome-extension://chiikmhgllekggjhdfjhajkfdkcngplp/arrows/dual/arrow_orange.png to look like. It kept me on track and because of all that this dish turned out exactly how it was supposed to; tender and flavorful...thank you, Chef John :) We will surely make this again. I paired it with baked jasmin rice and your recipe for Pan Seared Asparagus.

JozieLee said...

Oooowe, was this a wonderful recipe. Used boneless pork cutlets and Sambal (which I bought for Superbowl wings) in place of cayene pepper. Dunno if it made a difference, but sure was a finger lickin' good chop. Next time I'll try boneless chicken breasts like one of the other comments suggested. Thanks, Chef John. You make me look like I know what I'm doin' in the kitchen. Cheers!

Jackie said...

Hi Chef John

You really need to add a PRINT BUTTON.

Anonymous said...

You are the bomb Chef John...I have made a bunch of your recipes, but this is my fav. Have made it with chicken and pork. Never used buttermilk or yogert, is wonderful with out. Also throw in some mushrooms...heaven.

Kellyjo Telladira said...

I actually used Pork Loin. Didn't have any chicken broth so I used veggie broth. I also mademy own seasonsing spice for the poulty seasoning. It was the Bomb. I've never look at loin as a comfort food, but I think I won't ever doubt it again. Thanx Again for another awsome recipe.

Nejo said...

Dear chef John,
I love this menu that u have here and i will cook it tomorrow..by the way , i don't have poultry seasoning...can i just use salt and black pepper??? And with this Buttermilk, can i use like vanille cream also???

Thanx

Paula Arismendi said...

Hi Chef John,

I just cooked this for my mom and boyfriend and it was the best dinner ever! I just wanted to tell you that I thank you so much, I know I can always count on your recipes :)

Chef John said...

so glad! thanks!

Mark LeFond said...

Chef John, I made this tonight with a few minor changes. We loved it! I'll definitely be making this one again and possibly playing with ingredients more.

I didn't have poultry seasoning so I just used coarse sea salt and ground pepper. I didn't have buttermilk so I added a dash of cider vinegar to the sauce and finished it with some half and half since I had some around. I also used a small amount of rosemary. Delicious!

Kalakap Malaysia said...

Dear Chef John,

Thank you for your generous sharing of the recipe. I have tried cook it with chicken, however the souce alone taste too salty. I keep adding water and sugar :( not sure what's wrong with it.. Please comment..

Chef John said...

First of all you should always salt to taste. Never add all the salt and then decide it's too salty. Add some and taste and adjust. Secondly, the sauce is meant to be tasted on the meat, so if you taste a sauce alone it should be highly seasoned for that reason. Hope that helps!

Kalakap Malaysia said...

Thank you so much :) Happy new year to you and have a great holiday!

Evelyn Tynes said...

I've been in the kitchen since I was a little girl, and being that my mother is extremely busy with work, I'm the chef. Everyone in our house loves a good pork chop. When I cooked these a few nights ago even my brother, who always insists on fried chops, loved them. I added only a pinch of cayenne and cumin to the gravy, which we had over rice on the side. Delicious as always, Chef John. <3
-Evelyn