Cooking On A Budget: Rosemary and Thyme Braised Pork Chops

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Rosemary and Thyme Braised Pork Chops

Pork Chops simmer slowly in a delicious braising liquid scented with fresh Rosemary & Thyme.

The pork is tender, juicy and above all the sauce or gravy if you will, ends up with amazing flavor. Now I generally make my braised chops about the same each time, but yesterday I decided that rosemary from our garden and the fresh thyme I had left from doing the Potato Crusted Sea Bass infused oil would add to and elevate the overall flavor. It certainly did. The aroma that filled the air was actually taunting me and I could not wait to sit down and actually eat the dinner.

It's not a complicated dish and getting bone-in chops on sale will help keep the cost of the dinner down. The chops we had were at least 1/2 inch thick and there was a nice fat cap surrounding the chop. Remember that fat (animal fat) adds flavor! If you are weight conscious you can trim it if need be. For me, the fat stays.
This recipe is based on two people, just double the ingredients. By the way, you will need a little extra of the salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder to season the chops in addition to what is listed for the flour mixture.
  • 2 bone-in center cut pork chops - at least 1/2 inch thick
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. fresh rosemary chopped rather fine
  • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. granulated garlic or garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil (regular)
  • 1 large sweet onion - cut in half moons
  • 1 heaping tsp. white sugar (use your spoon in your sugar dish)
  • 2 drops Gravy Master®
  • 3/4 - 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 2 - 3 tbsp. water
  1. Start out by slicing your onions and chopping your herbs. Season your chops on both sides with salt, pepper, onion powder and granulated garlic to taste and set aside.
  2. In a deep skillet with a lid, saute the onions in one tablespoon of butter over medium low heat. Add some cracked black pepper to the onions and sprinkle with the white sugar. Stir. Cook until the onions are caramelized. This takes about 20 minutes.
  3. While the onions are caramelizing make the flour coating in a dish by combining the flour with the fresh herbs, salt, pepper, onion powder and granulated garlic. Mix well to combine.
  4. When the onions are caramelized remove them to a waiting bowl or plate.
  5. Dredge your chops in the flour. Leave on the excess flour. As the chops cook in the liquid this flour helps thicken the sauce a touch as it's cooking and you may not need to make a slurry at the end.
  6. Turn the heat up to medium high and let the skillet get hot. Add in another tablespoon of butter and the olive oil and let it heat up.
  7. Place the chops in the pan (you should hear a sizzle) and sear until they are a deep golden brown then turn them over. Sear for a minute more then pile on the onions over the chops.
  8. To the pan add in some chicken broth about 3/4 cup and the drops of Gravy Master®. Stir the liquid a bit without disturbing the chops. TURN THE HEAT DOWN to low. 
  9. Cover and simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes. While it cooks check on the liquid to make sure that you don't need to add a bit more broth or water if the "sauce" is thickening.
  10. Remove the onion covered chops to a waiting platter.
  11. If the liquid isn't thick enough for you make a slurry with the cornstarch and water. Bring it up to a boil and whisk in the slurry until the gravy is as thick as you want it.
These are what they looked like when I removed them from the pan to finish the sauce.

I did not get the pork on sale and these tender, juicy and absolutely delicious chops cost us $9.85. The peas and potatoes were another $1.69. Total cost $11.54. If you are one of the many on a really tight budget and can splurge on one meal once a week, splurge on this one. It's so worth it. The overall flavor is sensational. Chops are well seasoned and the coating with all the herbs and seasonings perfumed the entire liquid to make a fabulous tasting sauce. Just look at that glistening sauce - I could have drank the stuff in a glass!

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