Smothering food is a cooking technique used in Cajun and Creole foods, and it’s always relatively easy to make. Smothered means to brown the meat (although potatoes can be smothered, and it’s yummy) in a bit of oil, then add water, buttermilk, or broth to make a gravy. One of my favorite smothered foods is smothered pork chops, and it is my go-to comfort food. And yes, I steal my mama’s recipes. Don’t look at me like that.
What Are Smothered Foods?
Smothered foods is a Cajun and Creole technique of cooking. Smothered pork chops are very popular in Louisiana. You can make oven-baked smothered pork chops, but we’re going to do it on the stove in this recipe. Smothered meat means to cook it low-and-slow in a rich gravy after dredging them in flour, then brown them on the stove. I guess, possibly, you could make smothered pork chops without flour, but they aren’t going to taste the same. So, we’re all about the flour. Got I? Flour, flour, flour. Oh, and don’t forget to dredge them in flour. Did I mention flour? No, I don’t think I mentioned flour, flour, flour. What’s wrong with me?
What Kind Of Skillet Do I Use?
That’s not too much of a problem. You can use a cast-iron skillet or just a regular but heavy skillet. Just be sure that the skillet is hot when adding the pork chops after dredging them in (you guessed it!) Flour. How am I doing, Tiff? She told me that I have to mention flour and skillets. Long story!
What Can I Serve With Smothered Pork Chops?
Oh, there are so many answers to that question. Sometimes I like mine with seasoned french fries so I can dip them into the gravy. I usually air fry the french fries after cutting up a potato. I’ll write up a recipe on that soon. Loaded mashed potatoes are good with smothered foods, and potato salad pairs well with it, too. Collared greens would be great with this dish. Or my favorite, Cajun corn maque choux. Cornbread, of course, or Macaroni and cheese would work out with the chops.
I love my Instant Pot, so I was happy to learn that you can cook smothered pork chops in the Instant Pot. I haven’t tried it yet in my Instant Pot, but I’m going to try it soon.
You can also cook smothered chicken in your Instant Pot. I do like my Instant Pot when I’m crazy busy and want to throw together a quick but nice meal. True story: I burnt the top of my Instant Pot the first time I used it, so I’ve never been able to close it properly.
I choose cornbread, and you can cook it in a cast-iron skillet.
Are Smothered Pork Chops Considered A Comfort Food?
Well, that’s a dumb question. Oh, wait, I asked that question. Huh. This is kind of awkward, you guys. Moving on, of course, it is. It feels like it’s hugging your soul, and as you cook it in the skillet, you can smell that delicious food all over your home. Now, some people don’t like their home smelling like food. Not me. I’d wear it as perfume if I could. I already know I’m obnoxious, OK? I just like the smell of food cooking. Don’t judge me, man.
And nothing smells better than smothered pork seasoned with onion powder and garlic powder. On an aside, I knew a guy who said he likes to cook but then said he hates onions. So, I’m like, dude, how do you cook without onions? That’s not possible. He said, “I just hate them. I can’t tolerate onions.” Ok, you guys, we know that you need onions in many dishes, or at least the onion powder. Why does the onion-hater bother me so much? Would it be wrong for me to mail him an onion? I’m not going to hold it against that freak of nature. No, sir, not me. I think I got off on a tangent here. Yikes.
This Recipe Calls For Buttermilk. I Don’t Have Any, So Now What?
No worries at all. I got you. I don’t have buttermilk in my fridge normally. And if you use it, you might be throwing the rest of it out when it goes bad. It’s not something you’ll be using a lot. Unless your my grandfather and you crumble cornbread up in a glass of buttermilk every single night. But you’re not my grandfather, and thankfully, there are substitutes for buttermilk. You can always add a splash of lemon juice or white vinegar to some milk. In order to make 1 cup of buttermilk, add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to 1 cup of milk, stir and let it sit for a few minutes.
Can We Get To The Recipe, Pretty Please?
Let’s do this!
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
¾ cup of Flour
2 tablespoons of garlic power
1 tablespoon of poultry seasoning
2 tablespoons of onion powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of butter
4 pork chops, bone-in, ¾ to 1 inch thick chops
1 cup chicken broth
½ cup buttermilk (If you don’t have any handy, you can whip up a substitute in 5 minutes)
⅓ cup of water
Rinse pork chops, pat dry.
Get a bowl or platter. Combine flour, garlic powder, onion powder, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, and cayenne — Reserve 2 tablespoons of the flour mixture.
Dredge pork chops in the Flour and seasonings. Shake off excess flour. Set aside.
Heat olive oil and butter in a large pan on medium heat. Place pork chops in the pan to cook for about 3 or 4 minutes on each side. They don’t have to be thoroughly cooked through yet. They’re going to simmer in a bit. Remove pork chops.
Sprinkle the reserved flour in the pan. Mix until the pan drippings dissolve, then slowly add the chicken broth. Scrape the bottom of the pan. That’s flavor at the bottom:) It should slightly thicken in 4 or 5 minutes.
Stir in the buttermilk, let it simmer for about 2 minutes, and return the pork chops to the pan. Use a spoon to pour the gravy over the pork chops.
Simmer for about 5 minutes until the pork is done. The sauce should continue to thicken. Add cream or brother if it’s too thick. And you’re good to go. Garnish with parsley. Let’s eat!
Mama’s Smothered Pork Chops
- Rinse pork chops, pat dry.
- Get a bowl or platter. Combine flour, garlic powder, onion powder, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, and cayenne — Reserve 2 tablespoons of the flour mixture.
- Dredge pork chops in the Flour and seasonings. Shake off excess flour. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil and butter in a large pan on medium heat. Place pork chops in the pan to cook for about 3 or 4 minutes on each side. They don't have to be thoroughly cooked through yet. They're going to simmer in a bit. Remove pork chops.
- Sprinkle the reserved flour in the pan. Mix until the pan drippings dissolve, then slowly add the chicken broth. Scrape the bottom of the pan. That's flavor at the bottom:) It should slightly thicken in 4 or 5 minutes.
- Stir in the buttermilk, let it simmer for about 2 minutes, and return the pork chops to the pan. Use a spoon to pour the gravy over the pork chops.
- Simmer for about 5 minutes until the pork is done at 145 degrees. The sauce should continue to thicken. Add cream or brother if it's too thick. And you're good to go. Garnish with parsley.
Note: You can use boneless pork chops, but reduce the searing time by about 2 minutes per side.
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PS: How’d I do, Tiff?