Sunday, September 11, 2011

Kirsten's Fried Pork Chops with Country Gravy


Believe it or not, this is actually a breakfast dish. Now I don't know about you, but no matter how hungry I am in the morning, the last thing I want is a pork chop.  Pancakes yes, pork chops, no!  So, I made these for dinner.  I was actually looking for a recipe that was fairly quick, easy, and didn't call for any oddball ingredients when I stumbled upon this one in Bruce Aidells's Complete Book of Pork: A Guide to Buying, Storing, and Cooking the World's Favorite Meat.  It advocates what I've been doing for years, namely brining pork (I'll never cook another pork chop without brining ever again!). If you're one of those people like I used to be who thought pork chops were chewy and dry, wait until you try this!  I let them brine for about 6 hours before cooking and they were moist and tender and so delicious.  It's worth making for the gravy alone, but do try the chops as well.

Kirsten's Fried Pork Chops with Country Gravy

BASIC BRINE:
3 cups cold water
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup sugar (I used light brown)
2 cups ice cubes
6 bone-in pork rib chops (each 1/2-inch thick) or 6 boneless pork chops

COUNTRY GRAVY
1/2 pound bulk fresh sausage (I used Bob Evans' "Hot")
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups half-and-half, plus additional if needed
Freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Sausage fat or bacon fat

DIRECTIONS

To make the brine: Put the water in a large bowl and stir in the salt and sugar until the sugar is dissolved (I add the salt and sugar to a cup of water and microwave it for 3 minutes until everything is well dissolved, then add the rest of the water and ice cubes). Add the ice cubes and cool the mixture to at least 45 degrees F. Submerge the pork chops in the brine. Refrigerate for 2 hours or up to 4. Remove the pork chops from the brine, pat dry, and wrap in plastic wrap. Store in refrigerator until ready to cook.

To make the gravy: In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium heat, breaking it up with a spatula or fork. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat and discard. Reserve the fat in a cup for cooking chops.

Sprinkle the flour over the cooked sausage in the skillet; stir to coat. Gradually stir in the half-and-half, nutmeg and Worcestershire sauce. Cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add more half-and-half if the sauce becomes too thick. Season, to taste, with salt, pepper and hot sauce. Cover the skillet and set aside while you cook the chops.

Sprinkle the chops generously with pepper. Dredge them in the flour, shaking off excess. In a large, heavy skillet, heat the reserved fat plus additional oil to a depth of 1/8-inch over medium-high heat. Put the chops in the pan, as many as will fit without crowding, and fry until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn and cook on the other side, 2 to 3 minutes. If you're cooking more than one batch of chops, keep the fried chops warm in a preheated 250 degrees F oven.

To serve, put 1 chop on each diner's plate (you will have 2 remaining for second helpings) and spoon the gravy over them. Serve extra gravy on the side to pour over biscuits or grits...or not.

Bruce Aidells's Complete Book of Pork: A Guide to Buying, Storing, and Cooking the World's Favorite Meat

This post is linked to:
Savvy Home Made Monday @ Home Savvy A to Z
Melt In Your Mouth Monday @ Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms
Mouthwatering Mondays @ A Southern Fairytale
Homemaker Mondays @ 11th Heaven’s Homemaking Haven
Recipe Sharing Monday @ Jam Hands
Menu Mondays @ Faith and Family

5 comments:

Mrs Happy Homemaker said...

Wow - this looks wonderful! I would love it if you shared this on Makin' You Crave Monday over at MrsHappyHomemaker.com!!

Tracy Wood said...

ugh! I could never eat a pork chop for breakfast either! But these do look good, especially that gravy! Hey, speaking of pork chops, I was googling "brine pork chops" last night and your beautiful blog was on the first page on google! Very impressive and super fun!

~~louise~~ said...

I shutter when I see pork chops on a breakfast menu. I just don't get it. I'm sure it stems from the days of farmers' breakfast but I can barely get down a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast.

Brunch and dinner, well, that's an entirely different story! That dish of pork chop goodness looks dee...li...cious! And yes, Pattie, brining is the only way to go when it comes to "the other white meat."

Thanks for sharing...

P.S. I can't help it, I'm a 60's gal:) Reefer is the word verification:)

Mrs Happy Homemaker said...

I have featured them on this week's Makin' You Crave Monday. Come by & grab a featured button if you want - and I would love it if you linked up another recipe this week. This week's blog party is live now :)

Erin of HomeSavvyAtoZ.com said...

What yummy food for a cool fall evening! Thank you so much for sharing your pork chops post at Savvy HomeMade Monday! I hope you will come back and party again!