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Smothered Pork Chops: a comfort food recipe
Slow-simmered pork chops smothered in a creamy, oniony sauce.
Comfort Food at its Finest
If you're in the mood for some hearty, filling comfort food, then you've found the right recipe: these pork chops are quickly browned, smothered in a creamy, oniony sauce, then slowly simmered until they're melt-in-your-mouth tender.
Although I typically try to stick to lighter fare, it's always nice to have a few tried-and-true comfort food meals to fall back on. I know my family appreciates it. After all, the kids are still growing and my husband is one of those lucky people who is blessed with a fast metabolism, so they able to gobble up pork chops and buttery mashed potatoes smothered in a fluffy, creamy sauce without a worry. The recipe makes plenty of sauce, which goes perfectly over those mashed potatoes, by the way.
I often have a tough time cooking pork chops so that they're tender. However, because these are smothered in sauce and slow simmered in a covered pan, they come out fork- tender every time.
Although my kids will tell you they don't like onions, they love this recipe. I don't think they realize it has onions and plenty of onion flavor in it. When I'm caramelizing the onions, they smell that yummy aroma, find their way to the kitchen and and say "mmmmmmm" as they inhale deeply next to the pan.
While the recipe isn't super quick, it is very easy. If you know you'll be pressed for time, you can caramelize the onions in advance, or even leave them out. The dish is definitely better with them, but the onion soup mix adds plenty of onion flavor on its own.
Although the pork chops simmer (or bake) for close to an hour, I don't mind, because that gives me plenty of time to make the mashed potatoes and a vegetable, set the table and maybe even help the kids with their homework a bit. I often serve quick and easy "Busy Day Green Beans" with this meal. You'll find that recipe here, at the end of my Cranberry Chicken recipe. If you're craving fresh green beans made the old-fashioned way and have a little more time on your hands, try Paula Deen's recipe for fresh green beans.
You can use any type of pork chop you like for this recipe. This quick, helpful video explains the differences among the many types of pork chops.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 large onion, sliced thin
- 6-8 pork chops of your choice: thick or thin, bone-in or boneless
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- seasoned salt
- 16 ounces sour cream
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- 1 envelope onion soup mix
- 1/4 to 1/2 of an empty soup can of water
In a large, covered skillet, slowly saute sliced onion in one tablespoon of olive oil over low heat, stirring regularly, until onion is golden brown and caramelized. Remove from skillet and set aside.
While the onion is caramelizing, combine sour cream, mushroom soup, onion soup mix and water in a medium bowl. The less water you add, the fluffier the sauce will be. After a little trial and error, you'll discover how you and your family prefer the sauce. Set aside.
Sprinkle both sides of each pork chop with onion powder, garlic powder, seasoned salt and pepper.
Coat skillet surface with remaining oil. Place pork chops in a single layer in the skillet and brown over medium heat, about 3-4 minutes on each side, cooking in batches if necessary. Once all pork chops are browned on both sides, return them to the skillet. You may stack them in a double layer at this point, if needed.
Pour sour cream mixture over the pork chops, making sure all are smothered in the sauce. Top with caramelized onions. Cover the skillet. Turn the heat up a bit so that the sauce begins to bubble and gently boil. Turn the heat to low, keep the skillet covered, and let simmer 50-60 minutes.
If you don't have a skillet large enough to hold all the pork chops and sauce, you may transfer the chops to a large baking dish, smother them with the sauce, top with onions, cover, and bake at 350 degrees F for 50-60 minutes.