What’s more filling & tasty than hog & hominy, aka Smothered Pork Chops? Tastes good the day you make it. Tastes good the next day. Tastes good when you multiply by five and take it to a church supper or funeral. Tastes so good Dean Martin sings to it! Seems that even rat packers like their hominy grits. And if you don’t like hominy it’s great with noodles, rice, or spaetzle. This is the dish the fam usually requests when I go home to visit.
To get started you make the spice rub outlined below. Rich with paprika, rosemary, mustard & nutmeg the rub should coat the chops well for at least an hour or overnight. After rubbing it in cover with plastic and put in the fridge. If you don’t want the customized rub go with a premixed version. I’ve used both Paul Pruhomme’s Meat Magic and Penzey’s Bavarian Seasoning with great results. Whatever you decide on get those chops coated, wrapped or covered in plastic, and stowed in the fridge while you’re doing the rest of the prep.
For the actual chops you may choose thin, medium or fat, just try to get them on the bone as that will add to the flavor of the gravy. Since you’ll be braising in the oven on a low temperature the meat will cook to fork tenderness so go with your preference or what’s available. The amount of liquid called for in this recipe will be enough for four thick chops or a couple of extra thin ones.
Once you’ve seasoned the chops chop the bacon and fry until brown removing when done. Throw the pork into the pan, quick brown it then remove. At this point you may want to add a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil. Once you’ve done that stir in all the chopped veg and cook for a few then add the tomato paste and flour. Cook for a minute to incorporate then slowly add the chicken broth.
After you have achieved a nice smooth gravy lower the chops into the pot, drop the sage and parsley on top, cover and put into a 250 degree oven for at least an hour or until the chops are fork tender. About ten minutes before you finish cooking drop the reserved slivered bell pepper strips onto the top. This will allow them to cook but still retain their shape.
Once done to your liking remove the chops to a plate. Now’s time to check the gravy. First you remove the limp sage and parsley and see what you have. It may be perfect in which case you may anoint and eat. However, if it’s too thick just add a little water.
- For the Pork Chops:
- 4 pork chops (1 lb.), bone in
- 4 strips bacon
- 1½ cups onion, chopped
- ½ cup celery, chopped
- ½ cup red bell pepper, chopped
- ½ cup sliced red bell pepper, for later
- 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ¼ cup flour, scant
- 1 can chicken broth
- 1 sprig of sage
- 2 sprigs parsley
- For the spice rub:
- 1 tablespoon toasted garlic granules
- 1 tsp. powdered thyme
- ½ tsp. rosemary
- ½ tsp. paprika
- ½ tsp. dried mustard
- ⅛ tsp. powdered bay leaf
- ⅛ tsp. nutmeg
- For the hominy:
- 1 can of white hominy
- 2 strips bacon
- ½ cup green onions, chopped
- For the chops:
- Rub chops with spice mixture, wrap in plastic and put in fridge for about an hour. Keep any left over spice rub and add it to the pot with the vegetables.
- Fry bacon until brown, remove to a plate and crumble.
- Add a little vegetable oil to the pan if necessary then quick brown the chops & remove to a plate.
- Add all the chopped vegetables, cook for about 3 or 4 minutes, then add tomato paste & mix thoroughly.
- Add the flour & mix well, then gradually start adding the broth to make a smooth gravy.
- Stir in the bacon bits and place the chops into the gravy.
- Cover and cook for 1 hour in a 250 degree oven.
- For the Hominy:
- Chop the bacon and fry.
- Add the hominy & mix thoroughly then add the onions & cook for several minutes.