Cooking On A Budget: Pork Chop Stew

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Pork Chop Stew


I am calling this dish Pork Chop Stew because what other name can you give to a protein braised in a liquid with a host of vegetables? To me that spells stew. While not a fancy name, nor a fancy or elegant dish this one is down home, comfort cooking at it's finest.

The slow braise of the chops helps them be pull apart tender and lending flavor to the gravy is the cast of vegetables that get cooked in the liquid. If you have as I did a bit of left over vegetable from a previous dinner by all means toss those in right at the end of the cooking time to thoroughly warm through. As I like to cook green beans to el dente the left overs from the previous night worked perfectly into this dish. Use creative license by adding in other vegetables as well. Toss in some frozen peas or corn or perhaps a partial bag of a vegetable medley.

Always budget conscious, this can be not only a family-friendly meal but a budget one as well. When you see those center cut chops go on sale in a family pack, grab them. Don't let the total cost of the package make you think that you can't afford them. If you have a large family then those 8-10 pork chops goes a long way. For a smaller family you will probably get at least 2 meals out of the package.The same would hold true for any other protein. Think of how many meals you could possible get and then totally don't stress at the overall cost. You are actually saving money in the long run.

I used some bone-in pork chops for this, but boneless chops will work just as well with the same fabulous results. If you decide to go boneless chops you can even cut them up into bite size pieces like you would for a regular stew. Right there you are stretching your dollars - add more inexpensive vegetables and not quite as much protein. Remember, you are only supposed to have 4 ounces of a protein at a meal.

  • 4 center cut pork chops
  • 1 large onion - cut in half moon slices
  • 4-5 large carrots cut on the bias
  • 2 large celery stalks - medium dice
  • left-over veggies - or fresh beans (your choice)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup flour 
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • additional salt and pepper to season the chops
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil (canola is fine also)
  • 1 heaping sugar spoon size white sugar (use the sugar spoon from your flatware)
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch and 4 tbsp. water or broth to make a slurry.
  1. Get your vegetables all peeled and cut and set aside.
  2. In a deep skillet over medium high heat melt the butter and olive oil. Add in the onion slices and stir to coat. Sprinkle with the white sugar, stir and cook over medium low heat until caramelized.
  3. In a shallow dish add in the flour, salt and pepper and mix well. Dredge the pork chops so they are lightly coated on all sides and tops and bottoms. Place on a clean plate.
  4. When the onions are done, scoop them out and turn the heat back up to medium high. Add in the dredged pork chops and brown on each side to a deep golden color. Takes a few minutes. Adjust the heat as necessary so not to burn them. And if you need add a touch of butter or oil to the pan while searing them.
  5. When you flip the chops over the the second side, after 30 seconds add in the onions on top of the chops and add in the celery and carrots.
  6. Add in the chicken broth (you need enough in the pan to almost cover the chops). Turn the heat down to low. Lid the pan and simmer for at least one hour, longer if you have time.
  7. At the last bit of cooking time for the chops and carrots add in any left over veggies and cook for a couple of minutes.
  8. Remove the chops and vegetables to a platter getting out everything with a slotted spoon or a spider.
  9. If you want a thicker gravy, make a slurry. Turn the heat up to high and keep whisking all around the pan and the sides of the pan to get all the good bits incorporated.
  10. Slowly pour in the slurring, whisking and cooking until you have the thickness you desire.

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