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Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Cream Gravy

Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Cream Gravy

Simply seasoned, moist and tender. In search of a great pork chop!

Pork chops have long had a reputation for being dry and flavorless. To be fair, it’s not totally their fault. For years home cooks were taught to fry or roast pork until the internal temperature was at least 160-degrees. The fear was around a foodborne illness specific to pork. The prolonged cooking left the pork tough and without a drop of juiciness – something no one really wanted to eat. Luckily methods of raising pork and processing have improved greatly through the years.

There is also a better understanding of cooking temperatures needed to safely prepare pork. All these factors prompted the USDA to adjust the guidelines in 2011. Recommended temperatures were reset from 160-degrees internally to 145-degrees, with a three-minute rest. The change certainly makes for a better chop.

And brining is also key to a tremendous flavor. Unlike a traditional wet brine these chops are dry brined and the process is ridiculously easy. They are seasoned with nothing but kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper followed by an overnight rest in the fridge.

Then a quick sear followed by a quick roast in the oven. Rest. Plate. Pass the gravy.

Awww – cream gravy. The sauce of the South. Daunting, mysterious but really quite simple. The two tools you need are a heavy skillet and a whisk, preferably a flat whisk so you can get into the corners of your pan. Cream gravy starts by melting a small amount of fat – either bacon renderings or butter – in a heavy skillet along with any bits of fond. What the heck is fond you might ask? It’s those golden, bits of meat and rich drippings left over from cooking. Never throw those out when making gravy!

Whisk the flour into the melted fat until it’s smooth and golden brown in color. Then whisk in the milk. Check for seasoning, adding kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to suit your taste. Cook, whisking until it is thick and creamy. Whisking is the secret to smooth, velvety gravy!

Two great treasures of the South – pork chops and cream gravy!

Pan-Seared Pork Chops

4 bone-in pork chops, 1” thick

2 to 2-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

½ – 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

The day before you plan on cooking the pork chops, rinse the chops under cold water, pat dry and place them in a dish in a single layer.

Generously season each side with the kosher salt and pepper. Depending on the surface size of your pork chops you might need to use all the kosher salt. If you like a spicier chop, use all the pepper. Cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days.

When you’re ready to cook, pull the chops out of the fridge and let them come to room temperature – about 20 to 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350-degrees. Pour the olive oil into a large skillet that has been lightly sprayed with a cooking spray. Heat the pan over a setting between medium and medium high until the oil is hot. Place the pork chops in the pan and cook without moving for 5 minutes. If your skillet isn’t large enough to hold all the chops, cook in batches.

Flip the chops and cook an additional five minutes. Transfer to a 350-degree oven for 5 minutes. Check with an instant read thermometer in the thickest part of the chop – the internal temperature should read 145-degrees.

Transfer the pork chops to a serving platter and cover tightly with foil. Let them rest in a warm place for at least 5 minutes to allow the juices to settle back into the meat. While the chops rest, make the gravy.

Cream Gravy

2 tablespoons butter or bacon renderings

2 tablespoons flour

2 cups milk

½ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste

Melt the butter over medium heat using the same skillet you used to cook the pork chops. Whisk in the flour, scraping up any bits left in the pan. Cook until the flour is golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Pour in the milk, whisk until smooth. Add the kosher salt and black pepper.

Continue cooking until the gravy has thickened, whisking frequently – about 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve warm!

Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Cream Gravy

October 1, 2018
: Serves 4

Simply seasoned, moist and tender. Two great treasures of the South – pork chops topped with cream gravy!

By:

Ingredients
  • For the pork chops:
  • 4 bone-in pork chops, 1” thick
  • 2 to 2-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • For the cream gravy:
  • 2 tablespoons butter or bacon renderings
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
Directions
  • Step 1 For the pork chops:
  • Step 2 The day before you plan on cooking the pork chops, rinse the chops under cold water, pat dry and place them in a dish in a single layer.
  • Step 3 Generously season each side with the kosher salt and pepper. Depending on the surface size of your pork chops you might need all the kosher salt. If you like a spicier chop, use all the pepper. Cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days.
  • Step 4 When you’re ready to cook, pull the chops out of the fridge and let them come to room temperature – about 20 to 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350-degrees.
  • Step 5 Pour the olive oil in a large skillet that has been lightly sprayed with a cooking spray.
  • Step 6 Heat over a setting between medium and medium high until the oil is hot. Place the pork chops in the pan and cook without moving for 5 minutes. If your skillet isn’t large enough to hold all the chops, cook in batches. Flip the chops and cook an additional five minutes.
  • Step 7 Transfer to a 350-degree oven for 5 minutes. Check with an instant read thermometer in the thickest part of the chop – the internal temperature should ready 145-degrees.
  • Step 8 Transfer the pork chops to a serving platter and cover tightly with foil. Let them rest in a warm place for at least 5 minutes to allow the juices to settle back into the meat.
  • Step 9 While the chops rest, make the gravy.
  • Step 10 For the cream gravy:
  • Step 11 Melt the butter over medium heat using the same skillet you used to cook the pork chops. Whisk in the flour, scraping up any bits left in the pan. Cook until the flour is golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Step 12 Pour in the milk, whisk until smooth. Add the kosher salt and black pepper and continue cooking until the gravy has thickened, whisking frequently – about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Step 13 Serve warm!


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