Flying Fork: Man Pleasin' Baked Chops
Mr. Meat and Potatoes, my husband, loves a pork chop. I'll admit, it's not my favorite cut of meat. I'm not against the pork chop, per se, but it doesn't really make my toes curl, if you know what I mean.
Still, I can't resist a bargain and good ole Checkers Foods had these ginormous ones on sale a few weeks back that screamed at me to take them home and impress my other half.
I had planned to grill them, but the day was cold and rainy and I couldn't see any of us suffering for that hunk of pork, so I talked myself into doing oven pork chops. Now, my oven pork chops are a thing of beauty, but they are not health food. I had to not eat anything for three days after this meal. But it was worth it — especially because those giant chops (they looked more like the size and shape of a giant KC strip) — were spectacular. Thank you, Checkers. You never steer me wrong.
When I say "baked pork chop" I do not mean some hockey puck I've thrown in a casserole dish and turned on the heat. My family knows that "baked pork chop" means breaded, browned, baked in gravy. It's a once a year sort of thing. But on a chilly night, nothing will make you happier than this.
I am not going to say it's a gorgeous meal by any stretch of the imagination. It's more of that "hot, brown and plenty of it" sort of thing that makes the boys come to your yard.
Mama Stuke's Baked Pork Chops
4 or 5 boneless chops — the bigger the better (don't bother with those thin little things. You need a nice thick ones.)
1/3 cup butter
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups milk or buttermilk
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
Mix the flour, cayenne pepper, and a teaspoon of salt together in a pie pan or shallow dish. Set aside.
Sprinkle the chops with salt and pepper. Heat a skillet to medium high heat. Add the butter to melt. Dredge your chops in the flour mixture and brown well on both sides. Transfer them to a baking dish and set aside.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Add the onion to the already hot skillet and saute for a couple of minutes until translucent, then stir in about 1/2 cup of the flour left over from dredging the chops. Whisk well into the onion and butter, then add the lemon juice and milk and whisk thoroughly until it begins to thicken.
Pour the sauce over the chops and bake uncovered for about an hour.
I made a little extra gravy because a lot of this will get soaked into the chops during baking (which is a good thing).
I served it with boiled red potatoes tossed in butter, salt, pepper and parsley, and a side of green beans cooked in chicken broth with some chopped red pepper, a little bacon and a dash of salt and garlic.
Aside from the browning of the chops, this is a nice "hands off" sort of meal. Put the taters in to boil, set your beans in a sauce pan to cook, and pop your chops in the oven. Then go watch some trashy TV. By the time you pull it out to serve to your family, they'll think you've been slaving for hours. That is a good time to ask for a back massage, or maybe a new car.