I taught myself a very important lesson in the kitchen the other day – not all culinary skills are inborn. Sometimes, you have to really practice at something to get it just right. And sometimes, if you don’t practice first, you just might end up with a total flop.
These Pan Fried Pork Chops with Gravy are my case in point. We don’t eat pork chops a lot – probably once a month or so. My methods for making them are fairly limited and always involve the oven. But I decided that I could figure out how to pan fry a pork chop. I mean, it’s a piece of cake with a chicken breast, how much harder could it be with a pork chop? Right?
Wrong…at least for me! I prepared the pork chops in a way that I just knew would be good. I heated some oil and butter in a large skillet and tossed in the pork chops. They smelled wonderful. They looked beautiful. I transferred them to the oven to stay warm while I made a gravy from the pan drippings. Everything was going perfectly.
Then we sat down to eat. My husband was cutting up a pork chop for one of the kids while I was holding the baby. A flash of pink caught my eye. I told him to wait and let me see that pork. Sure enough, it was bright pink and raw in the middle. What a mess! We ended up tossing all the chops in the microwave until I was satisfied with their color.
I definitely learned a few things that night, not the least of which is that I definitely need to buy a meat thermometer! I think I’ve figured out how to pan fry the pork chops so that they are fully cooked. Having a meat thermometer to test with would definitely be helpful though. So for those of you that do have a meat thermometer, this recipe should be a piece of cake!
Pan Fried Pork Chops with Gravy
- 4 – 6 bone-in center cut pork chops
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 c. buttermilk (or 1 c. milk mixed with 1 t. vinegar)
- 2 c. flour
- 1 1/2 t. paprika
- 1 t. garlic powder
- 3 T. butter
- Oil for frying
- 2 1/2 c. chicken stock
1. Season the pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper to taste. Dip chops in buttermilk.
2. In a shallow dish, combine flour, paprika, garlic powder and a little salt and pepper to taste. Meanwhile, heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Dredge buttermilk-coated pork chops in the flour. Add to the hot skillet.
3. Cook chops until FULLY COOKED (internal temperature of 160 degrees) and golden brown outside, about 5-8 minutes per side. If the breading starts to get too brown before the pork is fully cooked, turn heat down a bit and cover the skillet, letting the chops cook an additional 5 minutes or so.
4. Remove chops from skillet and keep warm. Pour out all but 1/3 c. of the pan drippings. Measure out 1/3 c. of the dredging flour mixture. Whisk into the drippings in the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes, scraping off the bottom of the skillet while stirring. Slowly pour in chicken stock and bring to a boil. Simmer until thickened to desired gravy consistency. Serve with pork chops.
If undercooked pork scares you and you don’t want to risk it, you could also brown the pork chops in the skillet and then finish cooking in the oven.