Pork chops in gravy is a quintessential comfort food, whether served as a special Sunday dinner or during the week. Ingredients are flexible; understanding how to adjust your recipe for different cuts of meat is fairly easy once you understand the basics of the technique.
1. Pork Chops in Gravy
Time is your best friend when you're looking for soft, tender, fall-off-the-bone goodness in your pork chops. You can rush some things, but this recipe isn't one of them. First pat your chops dry. Season both sides with salt and pepper or your favorite spice blend. Brown each side in oil or butter until they're golden brown on each side.
2. Thick or Thin?
The baking process is the key to succulent pork chops. For thick chops over 1 inch, plan on at least two hours in the oven. For thin chops less than 1/2 inch thick, one hour will yield best results. Don't be afraid to try boneless chops or those that might be odd shaped. Baking them in gravy will make any cut of pork tender.
3. Oven Bake
After you've browned your chops, place them into your gravy mixture. Use a casserole dish big enough to cover them in gravy. Put the pork chops and gravy in the oven in the covered casserole dish. Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit -- no higher, because low and slow is the best option here. If a fork stuck in the middle of a chop goes all the way through without much force, they're done. If you use a meat thermometer, 180 F and above will yield chops that fall apart under your fork.
Mashed potatoes are traditional to serve with pork chops and gravy, but egg noodles, rice or quinoa work very well as substitutes. Your gravy will be rich and flavorful, so be sure your side dish is as well. Salt your pasta, rice or potato cooking water, add plenty of melted butter when they're done, and serve piping hot for best results. Gently place your chops on a bed of potatoes or rice and spoon the golden brown gravy over the top.