Archive for the ‘chops’ Category

Smothered Pork Chops

December 21, 2009

Smothered pork chops are not photogenic, but what they lack in looks they make up for in flavor. This is true Southern comfort food.

If you use Berkshire pork chops you’ll be rewarded with pork that is more like a t-bone steak. Fatty, tender, and flavorful like pork is supposed to be, not dry and tough like supermarket pork chops. You might be surprised at the amount of fat around the outer edge. These little piggies stay nice and warm in the winter time. If you need to, you can trim the fat; the pork is still beautifully marbled, like good beef.

Serve these beauties over egg noodles, rice, or mashed potatoes, and accompany them with Winter Squash and Goat Cheese Gratin.

Smothered Pork Chops

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 pork chops, 3/4-inch thick, bone-in (preferably Berkshire)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup buttermilk

Put the flour in a shallow platter and add the onion and garlic powders, cayenne, salt and pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly. Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels to remove any moisture and then dredge them in the seasoned flour; shaking off the excess. Don’t throw away the seasoned flour just yet.

Heat a large saute pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat and add the oil. When the oil is nice and hot, lay the pork chops in the pan in a single layer and fry for a few minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove the pork chops from the pan. Add the sliced onions to the pan. Stir them to coat with fat, but then let them sit undisturbed for a minute or so. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn, but you want the onions to develop some brown bits. When that happens stir and continue frying for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until they are softened and golden brown.

Add a couple of tablespoons of the seasoned flour to the pan drippings. Mix the flour into the fat to dissolve and then whisk in the chicken broth. Let the liquid cook down for 5 minutes to reduce and thicken slightly, whisking occasionally. Stir in the buttermilk to make a creamy gravy and return the pork chops to the pan, covering them with the sauce. Simmer until the pork is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper, if necessary.



July 28, 2009


When you receive fennel for the first time it can be a little intimidating. It’s pretty and aromatic, but what the heck do you do with it? If you like licorice flavor you might like it raw, sliced into a salad or slaw. The feathery fronds make a nice addition to a dip or salad dressing. We prefer fennel cooked, which brings out the sweetness in it.

Pork Tenderloin with Sauteed Onion and Fennel and Fennel Cream is my go to recipe for fennel. Although it calls for pork tenderloin, I’ve also made it with chicken. Most recently, I had some beautiful Hampshire pork chops from Chase Brook Natural Meats, who come to the Bloomington Farmer’s market on Saturday mornings. On a side note, heirloom pork can be a revelation to someone like me who grew up on supermarket pork. This is not your mother’s pork . . . it’s your grandma’s pork.

I served it with the last sugar snap peas of the season and new potatoes.

Pork Tenderloin with Sauteed Onion and Fennel and Fennel Cream

Adapted from Bon Appetit, October 1995

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed
1-2 medium fennel bulbs, quartered, cored, thinly sliced
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons minced garlic

2 12-ounce pork tenderloins, trimmed, each cut crosswise in half (Chops or chicken breasts could also be used)

1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup whipping cream

Fennel fronds

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in sliced fennel and onion and sauté until vegetables are very tender and caramelized, about 40 minutes. Add minced garlic and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.

Increase heat to high. Add white wine and boil until liquid is reduced to glaze, about 2 minutes. Add chicken broth and whipping cream and boil until reduced to sauce consistency, whisking often, about 5 minutes. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

Whie the fennel is cooking, preheat oven to 450°F. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in another heavy large skillet over high heat. Season pork tenderloins with salt and pepper. Add pork to skillet; cook until brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer pork to baking sheet; reserve drippings in skillet. Roasts pork until thermometer inserted into center registers 150°F, about 5 minutes. Remove pork from oven; cover with foil and keep warm. If using chicken breasts, roast until thermometer inserted into center registers about 165°F.

Cut meat into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Spoon sauce over meat. Garnish with fennel fronds.