Sunday, May 12, 2013

Smothered Pork Chops with Potatoes

We have a game in my family that my mother instigated.  (And now you’ll know what a food obsessed family I come from.)  It began as a way to pass time on road trips but now and again it comes up in different settings or if a new person wants to join the discussion.  It’s a simple question:  If you knew you were dying, let’s say you are on death row, what would your final meal request be?  The rules are few.  1.  Money is no object.  2.  It doesn’t have to be a full meal.  You want to eat just ice cream?  No problem.  And  3.  You can order whatever you want, in whatever quantities, as long as you don’t list everything you’ve ever liked.  Try to narrow it down in the interest of discussion.

The rest of us change our minds regularly but my mother always has the same answer:  Potatoes.  Creamed potatoes, scalloped potatoes, hash browns, baked potatoes, baby new potatoes with butter and green onions, home fries, you get the picture.  The woman likes potatoes.  The funny thing is, whenever I am home or she is visiting, she doesn’t ask for potatoes.  She asks me to make smothered pork chops.  I made these a while back, unfortunately when my mom wasn’t with me, but I thought of her the whole time.  Smothered pork chops?  Check.  POTATOES?  Check.  I think she’d love this.  Maybe even for a final meal.

As it happens, right now, I am on a two-week holiday with my lovely mother.  And since today is Mothers’ Day, I thought this would be an appropriate time to post this dish.

What would your mother choose for her final meal?  What would you choose?  Discuss.

Ingredients for two people – you and Mom?  Or this is easily doubled or trebled.
2 thick pork chops (and if you are cooking for my mother, the fat around the rim is essential)
Olive oil
Sea salt
Black pepper
1 large onion
5-6 medium new potatoes

If your pork chops have the rim of fat with skin on the outside, cut through this in several places to stop the chops from curling up as you cook them.  It’s really hard to brown a curled chop evenly.

Sprinkle your chops liberally with salt and pepper.

Drizzle a little olive oil in your very hot pan and brown the chops well on each side.  According to my photo details, that took about four minutes for each side.

Meanwhile, peel and slice your onion thinly.

After the chops are browned on both sides, cover them with the sliced onions and add in just enough water to come up the sides of the chops.

Cover and cook for about 45- 50 minutes, checking and turning occasionally and adding a little bit more water if the pan looks like it's drying out.

Pork chops are funny.  You can either cook them till they are just done and they’ll be moist.  Or you can cook the bejezus out of them and they will be moist.  Anything in between and you will need a lot of gravy because the meat will be dry.  Smothering falls under method number two.  I thought it was a common term and way of cooking but I just looked it up and several sites, including Wikipedia,  say it is a Cajun or Creole method.  So I come by it honestly.  I thought everyone’s grandmother smothered everything. Who knew?

Now you can slice your potatoes (about 1/4 inch or 1/2 centimeter thick) and add them to the pan in an even layer.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and put the lid back on.

Cook until the potatoes are fork tender and the pork chops get a little sticky underneath but be careful not to let them burn.  You can add a little more water if you need to.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve along side some steamed vegetables or salad.


And Happy Mothers’ Day to you and/or your mother!

If I don’t answer comments right away, please know that I am still delighted when you leave them and will respond as soon as I have internet access again.


  1. Enjoy your holiday with your Mom Stacy! It's got me thinking - I really don't know what is my Mum's final meal wish might be:(

  2. Those look amazing. On my list of things to make. Tx for sharing!

  3. These look fantastic! We smother a lot of foods here as well but then, we are connected to Louisiana at the South East end of the state. Yours are incomparable to anything I've made - pork chops - I'm going to try your method and see what happens!

  4. I haven't had smothered pork chops in years. Your dish looks terrific.

  5. It's one of my favorite dishes too, Kayle. Thank you!

  6. Do give them a try! The gravy it makes is the best.

  7. Truly, I didn't know that smothering wasn't a universal technique. You can smother most anything but pork chops are my favorite. Let me know how it goes.

  8. Well, friend, that's too long. :) You need to make them again, Karen. Soon!

  9. I made this again last Saturday. It's the perfect dinner. :)

  10. Why have I never been told to cut the fat edges of a pork chop in order to keep the meat from curling up? I feel so blessed to finally know this awesome fact!!! The recipe sounds scrumptious....can't wait to try it on my husband. Thank you for your awesome details throughout the recipe. I love it!!!!

  11. I don't know where I learned that trick, Dianna. I guess it just made sense - like snipping the inside of an armhole when sewing. I hope you and your husband enjoy the pork chops!

  12. Dinner for tonight !!!! Looks easy and delish ... Jaci from Imperial MO

  13. It is easy, Jaci! You just need a little time. Please let me know how your chops turned out.

  14. I have this going in a skillet now. I haven't added the onions yet and am going to use canned potatoes but am looking forward to this for lunch today. Thank you!

  15. Absolutely fantastic, even with canned potatoes. :) I don't think I used enough onion, though, so next time I'll double the onion. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  16. I can honestly say that I have never bought canned potatoes so I am intrigued.

  17. Thank you for the update, Denise! I am so pleased that it turned out fantastic. My policy on onions is that there can never be too many when you are smothering, because they just melt into the most delicious gravy.


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