SMOTHERED PORK CHOPS
3 oz bacon (about 3 slices) cut into 1/4 inch pieces
2 T unbleached all purpose flour
1 3/4 cups low sodium chicken broth
4-6 pork chops, 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick
ground black pepper
2 medium yellow onions, cut pole to pole and sliced thin
2 T water
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 t. minced fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
1 T minced fresh parsley leaves
1. Fry bacon in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate, leaving fat in saucepan (you should have 2 T. bacon fat; if not, supplement with vegetable oil). Reduce heat to medium low and gradually whisk flour into fat until smooth. Cook, whisking frequently, until mixture is light brown, about the color of peanut butter, about 5 minutes. Whisk in chicken broth in slow, steady stream; increase heat to medium high and bring to boil, stirring occasionally; cover and set aside off heat.
2. Heat 1 T. oil in 12 inch skillet over high heat until smoking, about 3 minutes. Dry pork chops with paper towels and sprinkle with 1/2 t. pepper. Brown chops in single layer until deep golden on first side, about 3 minutes Flip chops and cook until browned on second side, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer chops to large plate and set aside.
3. Reduce heat to medium and 1 T oil, onions, 1/4 tsp salt and water to now-empty skillet. Scrape browned bits on pan bottom and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are softened and browned around the edges, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds longer. Return chops to skillet, covering chops with onions. Pour in warm sauce from sauce pan and any juices collected from pork; add bay leaves. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until pork is tender -- about 30 minutes if using boned pork chops, less if boneless.
4. Transfer chops to warmed serving platter and tent with foil. Increase heat to medium high and simmer sauce rapidly, stirring frequently, until thickened to gravy like consistency, about 5 minutes. Discard bay leaves, stir in parsley, and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Cover chops with sauce, sprinkle with reserved bacon and serve immediately.
I think the recipe is originally from America's Test Kitchens, but I didn't write it down on the paper, so I'm not positive. But it's fussy enough in detail that it seems like it.
Now: HONESTY IN ADVERTISING: I was running late this evening because I had to be at church for nursery duty. You can be late for a LOT of things at my church, but nursery duty isn't one of them. So I got to the end of Step 3 and realized I didn't have enough time to finish it myself, so I had to simplify. My chops were boneless, so I set the timer for 20 minutes and told my husband that when it went off, he could serve up but be sure to top it with bacon. So Step 4 wasn't even done -- no parsley, no extra sauce. Nonetheless when he came to church later he said they were delicious, so I guess it worked. Also, I didn't have any fresh thyme so that didn't go in either.
You have to really love onions for this kind of dish, but fortunately, I do!