I've been making Smothered Pork Chops since about the time Kevin and I began dating. That was 15 years ago. We met in the fall and I would occasionally have him over and cook dinner for him. I had a decent recipe collection at the time (for a young, single girl, anyway) and yet I found that most of my collection was for cookies and other desserts.
Not much has changed since then.
There used to be a bookstore near my apartment called Little Professor Book Company. I loved that place. I would go in there and while away a couple of hours leafing through books. It was one of those stores with lots of comfy chairs and couches. There were tables with note cards and pencils. It almost seemed more like a library where they encouraged you to use the books, rather than buy them. Maybe that's why Little Professor Book Company isn't around anymore!
In the cooking section of the bookstore, on the tables, they had actual lined recipe cards with the store logo printed on them. They encouraged you to jot down a recipe that sounded good. And that is where Smothered Pork Chops came from. I didn't have the fortitude to reference my source, so I cannot do it here. I will tell you, though, that I have been eternally grateful time and again that I have this very basic recipe when the weather turns wet and cold like it has been this week. The house smells wonderful and the oven is on for 2 hours, so there is that warm kitchen feeling that I so appreciate this time of year.
Smothered Pork Chops
Here's What You Need:
6 pork chops (I typically use boneless, 1/2 - 3/4 " thick cut)
1 medium onion, optional
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
salt/pepper, to taste
1 10 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
1 jar of sliced mushrooms
Here's What You Do:
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the pork chops and fry in a skillet till well browned. Place the chops in a baking dish. Top each pork chop with an onion slice if you're using them. If your family doesn't like onion, you can leave them out. Sometimes I'll put the onions on and then remove them before I set the dish on the table. That way we have the wonderful flavoring but my kids don't wig out over onions being in their food! Sneaky, I know. You do what you gotta do to have food with flavor sometimes.
Drain the water from the mushrooms (you can clean and slice up fresh mushrooms if you want). Pour the mushrooms over the pork chops. Let me just add here that the original recipe did not call for the mushrooms, but I decided the pork chops needed a little something more. To me, though, the dish wouldn't be the same without them. Mix together the rest of the ingredients creating a sauce or gravy. Call it what you want. Pour over the pork chops. Cover the pan with foil and pop it in the oven for 2 hours.
When we have Smothered Pork Chops, I always serve either brown rice or mashed potatoes on the side. The gravy that is produced during those 2 hours is heavenly. My kids love this meal. Add it to your fall/winter meal rotation.
Note: This dish easily adapts to the Crock Pot. Get it started in the morning and turn the Crock Pot on low. The steps are all the same as listed above, the only thing that changes is the cooking vessel. Enjoy!