Cajun cooking is known for the simplicity of its ingredients and its incredible flavors. One common cooking method that utilizes Cajun seasoning well is “smothering” which means to simmer food slowly in a rich sauce or gravy until it is tender. If you love pork, onions, and Cajun flavors along with rice, here’s something that you can whip up in the kitchen. Check out this Cajun Smothered Pork Chops and Rice with Gravy recipe today.
What Is the Secret to Moist Pork Chops?
There are several ways to ensure that your pork chops remain moist and juicy throughout the entire cooking process. One of the first things that you can do is to use bone-in pork chops. This is because the bone in these cuts conducts heat, preventing the meat from overcooking.
Another thing that you can do is to quickly sear the meat on the stove before transferring it to the oven or frying it. Searing creates a crust that will seal in the juices, keeping the meat tender while cooking. When you sear the meat over the stove, add a splash of stock to give it a layer of protection, preventing it from drying out. You can add a few spoons of butter as well to increase the moisture.
Get yourself a meat thermometer too. Using one can greatly help in ensuring the chops stay tender and juicy as you’ll know their exact temperature while cooking and once it’s finally cooked. According to the USDA, the chops should have an internal temperature of 145 degrees to ensure that they’re cooked and still moist.
Lastly, let the chops rest after you cook them. This allows the fibers of the pork to relax, resulting in a more tender bit and juicier piece. 10 minutes should be enough time to let it rest.
Why Do People Put Flour on Pork Chops?
Dredging pork chops in flour prior to frying them helps develop a nice golden crust on the outside of the pork. It also helps seal in some of the moisture.
Why Do You Soak Pork Chops in Milk?
An effective way of tenderizing meat is to soak it in milk. While the exact mechanism and process is unknown, experts suggest that the enzymes in milk may be acting on the proteins in the chops to break them down, softening the fibers.
How to Add Flavor to Pork Chops
There are many ways to add flavor to a pork chop. One is to use seasoning. The simple combination of salt and pepper works but if you want more complex flavors, herbs and other spices are the way to go. Use Cajun seasonings, dried rosemary, mustard seeds, fennel, smoked paprika, and others to give the porkchop an amazing flavor.
Sauces work well too in increasing the flavor of pork. Hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, Creole mustard, and the like are great choices to serve alongside or drizzle over a pork chop.
Another way to make porkchop extremely delicious is to cook it in a rich stock and slather gravy over it. Not only will the flavors seep into the meat, but it will also help tenderize the cuts.
After 1 hour, continue to cook on a low simmer with the pot partially covered for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Check the pork and see if they are fork-tender. If not, continue to simmer until they’re very tender. Taste the gravy for seasoning and add more if needed.
Uncover the pot and sprinkle green onions over the smothered pork chops.
Once they are tender and falling apart, serve immediately over rice.
When searing pork chops, make sure to do it in batches so as to not crowd the pan.
If you do not have a Dutch oven, any cast-iron skillet or heavy-bottomed pan with a tight lid will work.
If there are any drippings or burned morsels in the pan, add a small amount of cold water and scrape with a wooden spoon to break them up.
Thin pork chops will get the most tender but thicker cuts also work well.
If you want this dish to sit on the spicy side, you can add green peppers to it. Heat oil on medium-high in a separate skillet. Next, add the green peppers to the skillet and cook them for 5 to 7 minutes or until crisp-tender. Serve by sprinkling on top of the pork.
Alternatively, you can add a Louisiana-style hot sauce to the gravy.
You can cook your rice in chicken broth instead of just water.
Aside from rice, you can also serve this dish with mashed potatoes.
Cajun seasoning can be quite salty so be sure to taste it first before adding salt to the dish.
You may skip the green onion at the end of the recipe if it is not to your liking.
You may also slice the onion thinly instead of chopping it.
Now you can enjoy this South Louisiana comfort food anytime at home! Smothered Pork Chops with Rice and Gravy is a Cajun comfort food that uses simple ingredients and simple methods. Pork cooked in a heavy cast-iron pot, combined with onions, smothered with natural gravy, and paired with rice or mashed potatoes, this dish is a classic that you’ll surely come back to over and over again. Add some hot sauce or green peppers if you want that fiery taste and you’re good to go.
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Hailing from California, USA. Ji-hyun is a Korean American 🇰🇷🇺🇸 with two growing boys who eat their weight in rice each week. After graduating UCLA & becoming a mom she started We Know Rice as a guide for all the students and moms out there looking to cook healthy and filling meals.