Smothered Pork Chops with Mashed Potatoes

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(serves 4)

4 pork chops 

2 Tbsp butter                                                      

1 1/4  cups flour                                                 

1 cup + 1/2 cup chicken/pork/beef stock, store bought or homemade     

salt and pepper                

1/4 cup apple cider or apple juice                                                           

4 stalks of thyme or a pinch of dried thyme                                                

4 bay leaves

1/4 cup + 1/2 cup vegetable oil             

3 medium onions                                                               

1/4 cup finely chopped celery                                                                 

3 large garlic cloves   

 

Sauce

In a small pot, melt 2 Tbsp. butter until bubbly.

Whisk in 2 Tbsp of the flour, cook stirring until it is a light brown. About 3-5 minutes.

Whisk in 1 cup stock, stirring until smooth.  Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper and set aside.

 

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Season the remaining flour with salt and pepper and dredge the chops in the flour mixture.

Heat ¼ cup vegetable oil in a large skillet.

Sear the pork on all sides, remove to a casserole dish with the 2 stems thyme and 2 bay leaves.

Raise the heat in skillet to medium high, add the remaining stock, working to scrape up the goodness stuck to the pan. 

Pour this over the pork, cover and braise for 25 minutes. Set skillet aside for the onions.

While the pork is braising, cut onions into thin wedges.

Thinly slice the garlic cloves.

Heat remaining 1/2 cup vegetable oil in the skillet.

Add onions, chopped celery, remaining thyme and bay leaves.

Slowly cook, stirring occasionally over a medium-low heat 20-25 minutes until onions begin to caramelize.

Add garlic.

Continue to cook another 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Warm the sauce in the pot that was made earlier.

Remove the casserole dish from the oven and pour the sauce and onion mixture over it.

Cover, return to the oven for 25-30 until the pork is fork tender and cooked to 71°C/165°F. 

Let stand for five minutes before serving.

 

Simple Mashed Potatoes – and variations

(serves 4)

2 1/2 lb russet potatoes or other variety                                           

4 Tbsp butter                                                       .

1 cup milk or a little more                                                     

Salt and pepper

Peel or don’t peel the potatoes depending on the condition of the potato skin. 

Cover generously with water, bring to a boil, simmer until very tender. 

Drain, mash with the butter, adding milk a little at a time.

 

Variations:

  • add 1 clove of garlic per potato
  • Use cream or sour cream to replace milk
  • Dice carrots and cook with the potatoes
  • Finish the mashed potatoes with minced parsley