Guess what we had for dinner tonight? If you guessed pork chops, you're right! ;) This is not a pretty, nor fancy, recipe so I'm just calling it simple pork chops. There may not be a soul out there who hasn't already seen this recipe, but anyway, here you go.
Here's what you'll need for this dish. Pork chops -- I use boneless center cut loin chops. I normally buy the pack of three, but couldn't find those this week. This package of six chops worked out fine because they shrink quite a bit during cooking, and we have enough left for another meal. The other ingredients are cooking oil (I use vegetable oil), salt and pepper, and a can of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup. The 98% Fat Free works best for us because too much fat gives me indigestion.
First, salt and pepper the pork chops and then brown them on top of the stove for about ten minutes or so. You want to use an oven-proof skillet so you can use the same pan for browning and baking; you don't want to lose any of the good flavorings from browning the chops. Also, make sure your oil is hot, as this makes the chops brown better (it kind of sears the meat) and gives the pork chops a better flavor. Since canned soups tend to have a lot of sodium in them, I just very lightly salt the meat before browning.
For years I cooked these pork chops in my dependable Revere Ware skillet until I got this braising dish for my birthday one year. This dish holds more than my skillet and does a great job.
Now they're lightly browned, and we have some good juices in the pan.
When the pork chops were brown enough, I transferred them to a plate so that I could get some of the oil out of the pan. Again, you don't want these to be too greasy and fatty; this is not exactly on the heart-healthy menu anyway. 😐 I removed about three to four tablespoons of oil, then returned the chops to the pan.
Next, spoon the cream of mushroom soup onto your pork chops and spread it around a tad. I added about a third of a soup can of water to help thin the soup/gravy.
With lid on tight,
pop them in a 300° oven for approximately two hours, depending on how hot and fast your oven cooks. I like to check them after an hour and then again at two hours. Tonight, they cooked about two hours and ten minutes; they used to take about three hours in my Revere Ware skillet. Le Creuset cooks pretty hot, so if you're using cast iron, just keep an eye on the chops.
The finished product. :) You could always add some extra mushrooms and/or onions to this if you wish. I love both of those ingredients, but I've always just kept this dish simple. Pork chops and gravy with rice or mashed potatoes. My mother-in-law showed me how to make these years ago, and I've always been glad to have this easy recipe. It makes for a good week-night meal.
So tell me, is this just a southern thing, or do people cook this in other parts of the country? I know a lot of folks don't like to use canned cream soups in cooking, and I do try to limit my use of them as well. However, they really make great casseroles and easy gravy. You could also make your own gravy from scratch, and I may try that sometime. What's your favorite, go-to easy meal?
Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a great rest of the week. I really appreciate your visits to House at Forest Manor!