Smothered Pork Chops

published Jul 28, 2021
Smothered Pork Chops

Chicken broth and buttermilk make these smothered pork chops so tender.

Serves4

Prep10 minutes

Cook26 minutes to 38 minutes

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Four Smothered Pork Chops in a black skillet with brown gravy and and green garnish on top.
Credit: Kelli Foster
Smothered Pork Chops

For those nights you’re craving something a little more exciting than basic pork chops, shake up your dinnertime routine with a smothered version. Pan-fried and simmered in a rich and tangy gravy that’s swirled with velvety, melt-in-your-mouth onions, this one-skillet meal is bound to be a new favorite you’ll make again and again.

What Are Smothered Pork Chops?

Smothered pork chops are a Southern classic comfort food of tender, juicy pan-fried pork chops swimming in a rich and savory onion gravy that’s kissed with buttermilk. The whole thing comes together in a single skillet, is totally doable on a weeknight, and hits the table in about 40 minutes. 

To prepare the dish, you’ll start by searing flour-coated pork chops in a hot oil-slicked skillet. Once they’re golden-brown on both sides, set them aside on a plate while you melt a pat of butter in the skillet and sauté thinly sliced onions until softened and gently caramelized. Stir in a couple of tablespoons of flour (which will thicken the gravy), followed by buttermilk and chicken broth. Using buttermilk, rather than heavy cream or regular milk, adds a gentle tang to the gravy that is totally irresistible. 

Buying Pork Chops

For this recipe, plan to buy bone-in, center-cut loin or rib chops that are 3/4-inch to 1-inch thick. 

Credit: Kelli Foster
Smothered Pork Chops

How Do I Know When Pork Chops Are Done?

The most accurate way to know when pork chops are truly done is by using a meat thermometer to test the internal temperature of the chops. Pork chops are cooked through when a probe thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chops registers 145°F. This is the sweet spot for well-cooked, tender, juicy pork chops. 

What to Serve with Smothered Pork Chops?

There are a whole host of sides that pair well with smothered pork chops, like roasted vegetables, sautéed greens, and simple salads. Rice, mashed cauliflower or potatoes, or a crusty loaf of bread are also especially great for mopping up all the extra gravy on your plate.

Smothered Pork Chops

Chicken broth and buttermilk make these smothered pork chops so tender.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 26 minutes to 38 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1

    large yellow onion

  • 3 cloves

    garlic

  • 1/3 cup

    all-purpose flour

  • 4

    (1-inch-thick) bone-in pork chops (about 2 pounds total)

  • 2 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided, plus more as needed

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 1 1/2 cups

    low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1/2 cup

    buttermilk

  • Fresh parsley leaves, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Thinly slice 1 large yellow onion and mince 3 garlic cloves. Place 1/3 cup all-purpose flour in a wide, shallow bowl.

  2. Pat 4 bone-in pork chops dry with paper towels and season all over with 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Dredge the pork chops in the flour, fully coating both sides and shaking off any excess, and place on a plate. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the remaining flour.

  3. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large regular or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Working in batches if needed, add the pork chops and sear until golden-brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side (they will not be cooked through at this point). Return to the plate.

  4. Melt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter in the skillet. Add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon of the kosher salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the reserved flour and stir to evenly coat the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.

  5. Add 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, 1/2 cup buttermilk, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and stir until no lumps from the flour remain. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Return the pork and any accumulated juices to the pan and simmer until the pork chops are just cooked through and register 145°F on an instant-read thermometer, 8 to 10 minutes. Taste and season the sauce with more kosher salt as needed. Garnish with the parsley.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.