Smothered Pork Chops
4 oz. bacon diced (about 4 slices)
3 T. all-purpose flour
1 3/4 C. homemade chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
1 T. vegetable oil
4 pork chops 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch thick
1 t. kosher salt divided
1 t. freshly ground pepper
2 medium onions halved and then sliced thin
2 medium clove garlic minced
1 t. minced fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
1 T. finely minced parsley leaves
Fry the bacon in a medium saucepan or skillet over medium heat until it is
lightly browned and the fat is rendered, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove the browned
bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside on a small plate. Reduce
the heat to medium-low and gradually stir in the flour with a wooden spoon,
working out any lumps that may form. Continue stirring constantly, reaching into
the edges of the pan, until the mixture is light brown, 4 to 5 minutes.
Add the chicken stock in a slow, steady stream while vigorously stirring with
the wooden spoon. Once the stock is incorporated, you can stop stirring and
reduce the heat to low to keep the sauce warm.
In a 12-inch skillet, heat the oil over high heat until it shimmers, which may
take 2 to 3 minutes, depending on your stove. Meanwhile, pat the chops with
paper towels until they are very dry - this is a crucial step that will allow a
brown, delicious crust to form on the chops. Once the chops are dry, season both
sides with half the salt and all the pepper. Place the chops in the pan in a
single layer and cook until a deep brown crust forms, about 2 minutes on the
first side (don't move the chops at all for at least a minute and a half, or you
will tear off the crust).
Turn the chops over and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove the chops from the
skillet and set aside on a plate.
Reduce the heat in the skillet that the chops were in to medium, and add the
onions and remaining salt.
Cook, stirring frequently and scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the
pan, until the onions begin to soften and brown around the edges, about 5
minutes. Stir in the garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds
longer. Return the chops to the pan in a single layer, and cover each chop with
Pour in the warm sauce, add the bay leaves, and cover with a tight-fitting lid.
Reduce the heat to low and cook until the meat is tender, about 30 minutes.
Transfer the chops (leave the onions in the skillet) to a warmed plate and cover
with foil. Increase the heat to medium high and, stirring frequently, cook until
the sauce thickens to a gravy like consistency, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the
parsley, and taste the sauce. Add more salt or pepper if needed. Cover each chop
with a portion of the sauce, sprinkle with the reserved bacon and serve
immediately with egg noodles, rice or mashed potatoes.