Published November 1, 2002.
Skip the condensed soup and thick-cut chops for deep flavor and tender meat.
Initial recipe tests produced bland, dry pork and near tasteless gravies with woeful consistencies ranging from pasty to processed to gelatinous to watery. Poor texture and shallow flavor rob smothered pork chops of their savory-sweet glory.
To get this recipe right, we knew we'd have to identify the best chop and the best way to cook it. And the gravy was no less important. We wanted a heady, multidimensional flavor, bold onion presence, and a satiny, just-thick-enough texture.
Bone-in, rib-end pork chops, which have a bit more fat than other we tried, worked best with this dish; they were the most juicy and the most flavorful. Thin, 1/2-inch chops pick up more flavor than thick chops and don't overwhelm the gravy. The best cooking method was to sear the chops in bacon fat, then braise them (30 minutes turned them tender and succulent) in an onion gravy thickened with a bacon fat and flour roux; the sweet/salty/smoky flavor of the roux underscores and deepens all of the other flavors in the dish. Finish the dish by sprinkling the pork chops with crumbled bacon.list of recipes