Smothered Pork Chops

Your next pork chops night needs this rich mushroom gravy.

Smothered Pork Chops
Photo: Photographer: Alison Miksch / Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn / Prop Stylist: Christina Brockman
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
55 mins
Servings:
4

Few recipes evoke home-cooked comfort the way a dinner of pork chops can. But these smothered pork chops take that comfort factor to the next level.

Bone-in pork chops are seared to golden brown and then simmered with an umami-rich mushroom gravy. This gravy is so good you may decide to use it with other proteins, such as beef tips or chicken breasts. However, the pork chop works exceptionally well in this recipe, as it cooks to just done but stays plenty tender and juicy while simmering as the gravy thickens. All you need to finish this smothered pork chops recipe is a side of mashed potatoes or buttered egg noodles.

Smothered Pork Chops Ingredients

To make smothered pork chops, start with four pork chops about ¾ inches thick. You'll also need all-purpose flour, kosher salt, pepper, vegetable oil, cremini mushrooms, garlic, chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, dijon mustard, heavy whipping cream, and fresh thyme.

How to Make Smothered Pork Chops

This recipe takes just under an hour, but you've got time to focus on some sides while the gravy simmers and thickens and the pork chops sear.

Step 1. Sear the pork chops

To make smothered pork chops, start by placing flour in a shallow bowl. Pat the pork chops dry, and sprinkle them with salt and pepper, rubbing the seasoning into the meat. Dredge the chops in flour, shaking off any excess, and transfer them to a platter or rimmed baking sheet.

flour coated pork chops
Photographer: Alison Miksch / Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn / Prop Stylist: Christina Brockman

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high. Working in batches as necessary for even cooking and to avoid overcrowding, cook the chops until they are golden brown, and transfer them to a plate without wiping down the skillet between batches.

cooking pork chops in a skillet
Photographer: Alison Miksch / Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn / Prop Stylist: Christina Brockman

Step 2. Make the mushroom gravy

Reduce the heat on the skillet, and add the mushrooms and onions to the drippings. Cook the veggies over medium, stirring often, until the onions are translucent and the liquid releases from the mushrooms.

Add the garlic, and continue cooking while stirring often until the mushrooms brown.

cooking onion and mushrooms
Photographer: Alison Miksch / Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn / Prop Stylist: Christina Brockman

Sprinkle with flour reserved from dredging, plus salt and pepper. Cook while stirring often for an additional minute or so.

adding flour to mushrooms to make gravy
Photographer: Alison Miksch / Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn / Prop Stylist: Christina Brockman

Add chicken stock to the skillet, and stir until it is fully incorporated and smooth. Add in Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and thyme while stirring. Bring the mixture to a boil while stirring often until the sauce thickens.

making mushroom gravy
Photographer: Alison Miksch / Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn / Prop Stylist: Christina Brockman

Stir in the heavy cream, and lower the heat. Return the pork chops and juices to the skillet. Simmer until the sauce thickens to the consistency of gravy and a thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of meat reaches 140°F.

smothered pork chops in skillet
Photographer: Alison Miksch / Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn / Prop Stylist: Christina Brockman

Transfer to a platter, garnish with thyme, and serve.

Why Are My Smothered Pork Chops Tough?

Pork chops get tough when they are overcooked. Because they cook fast, even cooking them for just a few extra minutes can make the difference between just right and too tough. This recipe presumes pork chops that are ¾-inch thick.

You could go thinner or thicker with the pork chops, but be sure to not overcook them or they'll become tough. To help avoid this with thinner cuts, cook the pork chops just until they're seared, then immediately pull them to make the gravy. When you add them back to the gravy to reheat and finish cooking, keep an eye on the meat thermometer. Don't go above 140°F, or the thinner cuts could turn rubbery.

Thicker pork chops may need more time, but you should still keep an eye on the thermometer so you don't risk overcooking them.

What Goes Well with Smothered Pork Chops?

An array of hearty pork chop sides go well with this recipe. Our recommendations for winning pairings include Brussels sprouts with ham and caramelized onions, butternut squash gratin, home-style butter beans, twice-baked green tomatoes, and creamed corn.

How Do You Make Pork Chops So They Don't Dry?

To keep pork chops tender instead of tough or dry, start with a pan that is really hot, which helps create a good crust on both sides. But after you've done that, reduce the heat to medium. If you keep it too high, the outside can overcook and get tough before the inside is adequately cooked.

Do use a meat thermometer to cook your chop until it's 135°F to 140°F internally, and then transfer it to a cutting board; the residual heat will bring it up to the USDA's recommended 145°F.

Finally, let the chops rest on the board or in the gravy for 10 minutes. Cutting into them early will let the juices escape. Instead, give the meat this time to soak up the juices before cutting and you'll have moist, tender chops.

Editorial Contributions by Alesandra Dubin.

Ingredients

  • cup (about 1 1/2 oz.) all-purpose flour

  • 4 (9 oz., 3/4-in.-thick) bone-in rib-cut pork chops

  • 1 ¾ tsp. kosher salt, divided

  • ¾ tsp. black pepper, divided

  • cup vegetable oil

  • 1 (8-oz.) pkg. fresh cremini mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced (1 1/4 cups)

  • 1 small (6 oz.) yellow onion, thinly sliced (3/4 cup)

  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic (from 2 large garlic cloves)

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard

  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish

  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream

Directions

  1. Place flour in a shallow bowl. Pat pork chops dry; sprinkle evenly with 1 1/4 teaspoons of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper, and rub into meat. Dredge chops in flour, shaking off excess flour; transfer to a platter. Set aside 2 tablespoons of dredging flour in small bowl, and discard the remaining.

  2. Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high. Working in 2 batches, cook pork chops until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side per batch; transfer to a plate. Do not wipe skillet clean between batches.

  3. Reduce heat to medium. Add mushrooms and onion to drippings in skillet; cook over medium, stirring often, until onion is translucent and mushrooms release their liquid, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, and cook, stirring often to keep garlic from burning, until mushrooms begin to brown, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle mixture with reserved flour and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 1 minute.

  4. Add chicken stock to skillet; stir until incorporated and smooth. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and thyme. Bring to a boil over medium-high; boil, stirring often, until sauce thickens slightly, about 1 minute.

  5. Stir in heavy cream. Reduce heat to medium-low; return pork chops and any accumulated juices to skillet. Simmer, undisturbed, until sauce has reached gravy consistency and a thermometer inserted into thickest portion of pork registers 140°F, about 3 minutes.

  6. Transfer to a platter. Let rest 10 minutes. Temperature will continue to rise to 145°F. Garnish with additional thyme, and serve.

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