Fall seems to be a little early this year in the Northeast. The nights have been cool and the morning foggy. As much as I’ll miss summer, I won’t turn fall away. I’m going to break out the hats I knit this summer and set something to simmer on the stove.
With the temperature change, my food cravings shift. Instead of light salads, raw tomatoes, and cold cheese, I daydream about creamy pastas and rich stews. I want to leave a big pot of something to cook in my stove for several hours at 275 degrees so I have something delicious to eat and a little extra heat in the apartment.
Peter suggested making pork chops with our favorite creamy mushroom sauce this last weekend. You may be used to making this kind of dish with a can or two of cream of mushroom soup. But you don’t need that. It’s easy to make a creamy, dreamy mushroom sauce with just a few ingredients.
Pork Chops with Creamy Mushroom Sauce
I served this over basmati rice, but it’s been just as tasty over mashed potatoes or egg noodles. Don’t chop the mushrooms too small, bigger bites pair better with this sauce and meat combo.
6 pork chops, about 1” thick
2 Tbs coconut oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 Tbs corn starch
2 Tbs unsalted butter
1.5 lbs mushrooms, any kind you like (wild mushrooms have exciting flavors!), chopped into bite size pieces
1/2 cup dry white wine (I use sauvignon blanc)
2 cups milk
1 Tbs dried thyme
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 small baking pan or casserole dish that will fit all of your pork chops.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees with the rack placed in the center.
- Trim pork chops and lightly slit any remaining fat along the edge every 1/2″ to prevent the meat from curling while they sear.
- In a large, deep skillet, heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat until it’s shimmering but not smoking. Saute the pork chops in batches, cooking about 2–3 minutes per side; a light golden crust should develop. Transfer to a plate.
- After all of the pork chops have been removed from the pan, add the onions and some salt. Sweat the onions and scrape the brown bits up from the pan with a wooden spoon (that’s where the flavor lives). Sweat over medium, medium-low heat for about 10 minutes. The onions should be golden and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes until fragrant.
- Add the butter and melt. Stir in the cornstarch. Make sure everything is well coated and the clumps of corn starch have been broken apart. The pan is going to get very dry.
- Raise the heat to medium and add the mushrooms in two batches. When they start to soften and release some moisture, add the wine. Raise the heat so the liquid is at a hard simmer. Cook this way until the liquid is thickened and reduced by about half. This will only take a few minutes.
- Add the milk and cook at a hard simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. You want your sauce to be nice and thick, but not reduced by so much that there won’t be enough to coat the meat.
- While the sauce is thickening, arrange the pork chops in an even layer in your baking pan/casserole dish. Some overlap is perfectly fine. The juice that’s on the plate your pork chops were hanging out on should be poured into your sauce. Stir in the thyme.
- Pour the sauce over the pork chops and cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil.
- Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Your sauce may need to thicken a little more from the juice from the pork chops. If that’s the case, remove your pork chops to a plate and place your baking dish over one of your oven’s burners on medium-high heat. Heat and stir until the sauce has been reduced to your desired thickness.
- Stir in fresh parsley.
- Plate one pork chop with the starch of your choice and spoon many spoonfuls of sauce on top.
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