Monday, April 18, 2011
Soon-to-be-Famous Smothered Pork Chops
I'm sure this is already a famous recipe for the Test Kitchen, but perhaps it'll move me closer to the spotlight, too :)
Smothered Pork Chops
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 bone-in blade-cut pork chops
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 onions, halved and sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon beef broth
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Combine onion powder, paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and cayenne (I didn't have any cayenne, so I made a chili powder-cumin combo) in small bowl. Pay chops dry with paper towels and rub with spice mixture.
Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown chops, 3 to 4 minutes per side, and transfer to plate. Melt butter in now empty skillet over medium heat. Cook onions until browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic and thyme (I used fresh instead of dried because I had it on hand) and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in 3/4 cup broth and bay leaf, scraping up and browned bits, and bring to a boil. Return chops and any accumulated juices to pan, cover, and transfer to oven. Cook until chops are completely tender, about 1 1/2 hours (I was way too hungry to wait 1 1/2 hours - it was a weeknight! - so I cooked them for more like 40 or 45 minutes. They were still tender, juicy and delicious, but I promise I'll follow the recipe correctly next time).
Transfer chops to platter and tent with foil. Discard bay leaf (I forgot this step and it ended up on my plate - whoops!). Strain contents of skillet through fine mesh strainer into large liquid measuring cup; reserve onions. Let liquid settle, then skim fat (again, we were hunrgy ... so there may have been a little fat left in the liquid). Return 1 1/2 cups defatted pan juices to now empty skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until sauce is redcuced to 1 cup, about 5 minutes.
Whisk remaining broth and cornstarch in bowl until no lumps remain. Whisk cornstarch mixture into sauce and simmer until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in reserved onions and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.
So would America's Test Kitchen still have followed me if they had known I took a shortcut with one of their Cook's Country feature recipes? Maybe not, but oh well! I was still super yummy, and a definite make-again. I served it alongside sauteed broccolini, using a recipe from Ina Garten. So easy, but so, so tasty.