As the air chills and the fires crackle, I love nothing more than settling in to our wonderful winter menu. Beef roasts, roast chickens and hams send their heavenly scent throughout our little shouse and minister not only to our bodies but also to our souls. Mashed potatoes, gravy, fresh rolls and any number of vegetables round out our simple feasts. Oh, there is nothing to compare with a meal prepared by loving hands for the delight of a waiting family!
One of our favorite winter meals consists of pork chops, mashed potatoes, gravy and biscuits (and a veg on the side, for good measure). When I was a girl, my mother always served pork chops baked atop escalloped potatoes. They were delicious and creamy - rarely were any left over to enjoy later. For the first couple of years of marriage, I served pork chops just like my mother, however, my husband, not being fond of escalloped potatoes, wasn't particularly enamored with this meal. And so, for our family, pork chops became a thing of the past.
One day, as I was frugally shopping for our monthly groceries, I noticed that pork chops were on sale and thought that just one more pork chop dinner could be in our future. Remembering my Aunt Anita's method of cooking pork chops, I thought I would give it a try. She dredged her pork chops in flour seasoned with salt and pepper and quickly browned them in a bit of butter. After browning both sides, she poured water over the chops, covered the frying pan with a lid and simmered the whole lot for about 3 hours. She added water from time to time and by the time the pork chops were done, there was a thick, flavorful broth just waiting to be turned into gravy.
|Flour-dredged pork chops with sliced onions|
|The savory makings of gravy|
|Princess Dragon Snack mixing roux|
|Adding roux to the broth|
|Adding milk to thin gravy|
|Rich, savory gravy|
I tried out my newly remembered recipe, adding a sliced onion to the pork chops and water and oh, my goodness - what a feast! After the chops were done, I removed them to a serving platter, mixed a roux (water and flour, mixed into a thick soup), poured it into the liquid left in the pan and heated it to make a flavorful, thick gravy. Mashed potatoes, corn and biscuits filled out the meal. To say that Sir Knight approved is putting it lightly. Pork chops once again graced our winter menu!
Pork chops and wood cookstoves are a match made in heaven. Your cast iron skillet (with lid) and your wood cookstove work in concert to create the perfect "slow cooker". Your pork chop dinner will bubble away on the cookstove as you go about your day and culminate in a perfect winter feast.