Cooking On A Budget: Braised Pork Chops with Onions

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Braised Pork Chops with Onions

Pork chops simmer slowly for tenderness and are accompanied by delicious caramelized onions. 

A very homey and comforting dinner that I have eaten since childhood, braised pork chops with onions is one of our favorite dinners that we make a couple times a month. This recipe is how my mother made the dish and I still make these the same way, because if something is good you stick with it, right? When we were first married I introduced my husband to this recipe and method of cooking and he's pretty adept at making this dinner all by himself. Today, I cooked so I could take some updated photographs as well as revise the text. After all I first blogged this back in 2012.
If you're not a meat on the bone kind of person, then boneless chops work would be a fine substitution. I like cooking with bone-in as I feel the bones help to impart flavor into the dish. The key to tender and juicy pork chops in a dish like this is to sear them first then simmer over low heat to braise them to almost falling off the bone.

When choosing your pork, pick out center cut bone in chops.  Look to see that the chops have some marbling in the meat as that is indicative of a chop that will be flavorful and ultimately more tender.  If you buy "assorted" pork chops you are wasting your money - they are packed tightly and you can not tell whether they will be lean or fatty, thick or thin.  Purchase the better chop on sale and try and buy chops about the same thickness so they all cook evenly.

I figure one pork chop per person is plenty.  Should you have left overs, bring the chops out to get to room temperature and they can be warmed in a microwave - just don't have them in there for a long time. Perhaps on a reheat for about 3-4 minutes or use your dinner plate button on your device.
  • 4  center cut pork chops - bone in
  • 1 large sweet onion - cut in half then in strips about 1/2" thick
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp. butter or margarine
  • 2 tbsp. oil (canola or olive oil)
  • 1 1/4 cups water or chicken broth or a combination of both
  • 1 tsp. Gravy Master
  • 2 tbsp. corn starch
  • 1/3 cup water

When spicing this dish, it really is a matter of taste. I use the same spices on the chops as well as the flour.
Spices: Granulated garlic, onion powder, salt and pepper - sprinkle each chop on both sides with these spices as little or as much as you like.

To the flour add in:
  • 1 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  1. In a deep dish combine the flour and the spices and mix well. Dredge each seasoned pork chop in the seasoned flour and set on a plate.
  2. Melt the butter and oil in a deep saute pan over moderately low heat.  Add in the onions, stir and saute the onions to a nice golden brown.  Remove the onions with a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl.
  3. Reheat the same pan with a touch more oil or butter if necessary and when the butter is nice and bubbly, add in the floured pork chops and sear until they are a nice golden brown. The thicker the chop the longer you can sear it to get to a deep brown.
  4. Remove the seared chops to a plate and de-glaze the pan with the water or chicken broth or a combination of both. Scrap the bottoms and sides of the pan to get all that goodness up and stir in the Gravy Master.
  5. Add the chops back in, top each chop with some of the sauteed onions and simmer, covered for at least one hour for a thinner chop up to 1 and 1/2 hours for thicker chops. At the end of the cooking time remove the chops to a platter and tent with foil.
  6. Make a slurry with the cornstarch and water mixer if you want a gravy.  Bring the cooking liquid up to a boil and whisk in the slurry to make a gravy. Keep whisking until the slurry is incorporated and you have achieved the thickness you desire.

Prep time: 20 minutes (entire dinner)
Cook time: 1 1/2 hours
Serves: 4

 Such a well-balanced, comforting dinner you can make any night of the week.

Tonight's dinner includes mashed potatoes and fresh green beans. Apple sauce is always a welcomed addition to this supper, only I forgot to pick some up at the store! Anyhow, I figured the cost of what I purchased today and this complete dinner cost approximately $10.58, feeding four people for $2.64 each.

Just a tip about the cost: if you really are on a low budget, purchase what you can afford for a vegetable. Also if you live in states where it's still cold and you have a basement, pick up a couple of bags of potatoes on sale and store them there. We got a deal on Russets for $1.99 a bag so this helped save us money on this dinner. I hope these little suggestions help you out.

I've done quite a number of pork recipes here at Cooking On A Budget. You can find them in the recipe index under Pork. In the meantime, if you would like to pin this recipe, there's pin buttons on each photograph or you can pin this one:

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