Friday, September 21, 2007

Smothered Pork Chops

Thank you, Summer! We've had a great one - we camped, went to the beach on Cape Cod, played tennis, canoed and fished, took long weekends and trips, got tan, grilled alot, and generally enjoyed Summer. But, as of this Sunday, you bid us adieu and we welcome in your long-lost cousin, Autumn.

Perhaps our favorite time of the year here in New England, we love all things Autumn... the weather turns cool and crisp (no more humidity!), the maple and oak leaves turn brilliant colors and the leaves eventually fall (and we get to rake them), we visit the pumpkin farm and pick out some nice ones to carve into jack-o-lanterns for Halloween (and we get to watch cheesy horror movies!), we get to enjoy the last days before the harsh New England winter rolls in and shutters us up until April, and we get to make comfort food!

And what could be more "comfort food" than gravy-smothered pork chops? This idea popped into our heads and - after a little research, this easy recipe was new for us - we were ready to get comfortable... Along with some leftover yellow tomatoes and some long grain/wild rice, this was a very easy meal to make on a cool, late-summer night.

We helped some frozen ~3/4" thick, bone-in pork chops dethaw by adding them to a brine (after sitting in the fridge overnight) of water, salt, sugar, bay leaves, worchestershire, and hot sauce and letting them hang out for most of the day. When ready, we took these out and rinsed and dried them thoroughly, then added them one-at-a-time to a big freezerbag that was full of all-purpose flour seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

When all were rinsed, dried, and seasoned/floured we got our big enamled-cast-iron pan nice and hot and added a good amount of olive oil to the bottom of the pan, then browned each of the pork chops for maybe 3 minutes per side. We took those out and added a little more oil to the pan, and then added a tablespoon or so of all-purpose flour (a little goes a long way) and stirred the flour into the oil until we had something like a roux. Then, we stirred in about a cup of chicken broth and scraped up all the burnt bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon, just like we're told to do! Finally, we added some chopped (from a can!) buttom mushrooms for an additional touch.

Not the prettiest picture...

We gave that gravy about 5 minutes of simmer time before adding the pork chops back in and letting them go for 4-5 more minutes. We chopped up some tomatoes and plated our rice, then a nice, big pork chop, and then smothered everything in that delicious gravy... came out great - the perfect comfort food to kick off Autumn!

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