To smother meat means to cook it low-and-slow in rich gravy until the meat becomes ridiculously tender. And let me tell you, these smothered pork chops ARE ridiculously tender. And the gravy is ridiculously good – rich, flavorful, with a nice tang and a touch of heat. It’s so good, in fact, that I won’t be surprised if many of you will be shamelessly licking the leftover gravy off the plate. I do. But fret not, this recipe makes plenty of gravy to go around. You won’t leave the table unsatisfied, I would be very surprised if you did.
Pork chops, being lean, are normally best cooked quick over high heat to preserve moisture. Pan-frying is how I usually would cook them. Smoked chops are quite good too, you just have to be very careful not to overcook them. With smothered pork chops that becomes less of an issue. Yes, they will lose a lot of moisture during baking but the gravy will more than make up for it. What you will end up with is super-tender meat nestled in rich, tasty gravy.
Fattier meat will result in a juicier smothered chop but that’s hardly necessary. Even super lean pork loin chops will rival some of the best award-winning chops.
This recipe was adapted with a few modifications from the Cook’s Country magazine. I expanded the spice mix in the original recipe to include marjoram, thyme and allspice – they complement pork like no other herb or spice and give the gravy more depth. A little bit of heat from cayenne pepper made the chops more exciting to eat and gave the dish another dimension. I also streamlined the preparation process where all cooking is done in one cast iron pan. If you don’t have a cast iron pan, you can finish cooking in a baking dish.
Serve with your favorite side dish. I like mashed potatoes with these chops, or my new favorite, Hungarian potatoes.
- 4 1- inch thick pork chops
- 3 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp onion powder
- 1 Tbsp granulated garlic
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp marjoram
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
- 1 large Vidalia onion quartered and sliced thinly
- 3 cups water
- 1 Tbsp cider vinegar
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350F.
- Combine 2 teaspoons of salt with the dry seasonings (onion powder, granulated garlic, paprika, marjoram, thyme, allspice, and cayenne pepper). Pat dry pork chops with a paper towel. Sprinkle each chop with about one teaspoon of the seasoning mix per side. Pat the seasonings down to make sure they stick. Set aside.
- Combine the remaining seasonings with ½ a cup of all-purpose flour on a large plate or a platter. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a 12-inch cast-iron pan over medium-high heat until just smoking (about 300F). One a time, dredge each pork chop in flour on both sides, shake off excess and place in the pan. Fry until deep golden brown on each side, about 3-5 minutes per side. Reduce heat to medium. Remove the chops from the pan and set aside.
- You should have about ¼ cup of oil left in the pan. If less, add more oil. Add the seasoned flour left from dredging of pork chops to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the roux acquires a nutty flavor and the color becomes deep golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. Add the sliced onions and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the onions begin to soften slightly, about 2 minutes.
- Slowly add the water into the roux mixture, constantly stirring until the gravy is smooth and free of lumps. Bring to simmer and cook the gravy until it begins to thicken, about 2 minutes. Add the vinegar and stir well. Add the remaining 1 ½ teaspoons of salt (plus more if needed), starting with 1 teaspoon and adjusting to taste.
- Turn off the heat and add the pork chops back to the cast iron pan, nestling them such that they are fully covered with the gravy and onions.
- Carefully cover the pan with aluminum foil -use oven mitts as the pan will be hot – and transfer to the pre-heated oven. Bake, covered, until the chops are fully tender, about 1 ½ hours.
- Carefully transfer the chops to a serving dish (the chops will be delicate and may fall apart). Pour the gravy over the chops and serve.
Can you use self rising flour?
Raven, I don’t see a problem with using self-rising flour in this recipe. Enjoy!
I just prepared your “best smothered pork chops recipe” and disappointment does not describe my reaction, The first thing that popped into my mind was “was this recipe prepared before publication. The pork chops were so dry they were inedible the so called gravy was flavored grease. I grew up on cajun and southern food, this recipe bears no resemblance to anything southern or cajun.
I appreciate your feedback, sorry it did not work out for you. To answer your question, yes, every recipe I publish is prepared more than once before publication and every recipe is what I consider a recipe worth saving and making again. I like this recipe.
What does the vinegar do?
It brings balance.
Can I use thinner pork chops for this recipe?
It should be fine to use thinner pork chops here.
In step 4 you spelled flour… flower.
Can you make these in a regular skillet (not cast iron) and then transfer them to a covered pan and bake them like that?
I don’t want to run out and buy a cast iron skillet to try the recipe.
Hi Debbie, yes, that should work fine.
Yes I do it all the time but the sear won’t be as great but the taste is still amazing!!
Please don’t ever remove this recipe. I’ve made this over and over. I’ve had great compliments about it. Delicious seems too simple a word to even describe it. Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe!
Will stay here permanently. Enjoy!
Made my mouth water as I read the recipe.
Took me back to my grandmothers table. Just wish I
Had remembered the sweet potato biscuits. Thanks for
This recipe. It’s easy to make and warms your insides.
You are very welcome! Thank you for your feedback. Speaking about biscuits, these ones are absolutely delightful. So soft and flaky. I highly recommend them.
Made these pork chops so DELICIOUS. Never had luck with pork chops until I came across this recipe. The sauce was so tasty, I used chicken broth instead of water which added more flavor. Did not have allspice I did not missed it. Will definetly be making again and again. Thanks for such a great recipe.
You are very welcome, Anna. Thanks for your feedback.
The chips was sooo good I will definitely be doing these again!!!!
Made these for dinner tonight and they were amazing! I actually made two cast iron skillets of them and no leftovers whatsoever! Gravy was rich and delicious, pork was tender. Definitely a keeper on our menu for pork!
Are the oven temperatures in your recipes fan forced or top/bottom heat? Trying this tonight 🙂 Thanks!
Bottom heat for this recipe. In some of my other recipes I use convection (fan), or top element (broiling), but I am always explicit about that. Good luck!
Hi! the potatoes on the plate is there recipe?
Hi, the recipe is actually linked right below the picture, but here it is Hungarian potatoes.
It’s my first time making this recipe though I’ve made other smothered pork chops in the past. All I have to say is DELICIOUS. My family enjoyed it! The recipe is simple and easy.
Awesome! Great that to hear that.