Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Comfort of Winter Dinners

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
Water added
Simmering away
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.


  1. Looks delicious. Actually, roux is flour and fat; what you've made is slurry, flour and water. Both are wonderful :)

  2. Enola Gay, Once again, you out did yourself. The meal looks delicious, thank you for sharing.

  3. Goodness! That looks so tasty! =) I've always had a soft spot in my heart for gravy made like that (my mom makes it the same way!). Thanks for sharing.

  4. Yummy, I will be trying this! I usually do not like pork chops but I am willing to try again! ;)

  5. Enola,


    Why do you do this to me Enola'. I look at that wonderful food and my heart sinks.
    The closest thing to what you call food I have is a meatloaf and mashed potato "Lean Cuisine" (they are great for breakfast too) I have yet to figure out what to do with an egg???

    My father developed a taste for "Chipped Beef" when he was in the Navy during the Korean War. (they had a funny name for chipped beef)

    I developed a taste for meatloaf when I was in the Navy. The Navy loved to serve either "mystery meat" or meatloaf when I was active duty during Gulf War I, Desert Storm. (I choosed the meatloaf)

    By the way, half of my refrigerator is filled with MRE's and they ain't bad tasting, they last longer if refrigerated. (The troops now have another funny nickname for MRE's that I cant say on this website:)

    1. MRE's....Meals Refused by Ethiopians.......

    2. Modified Refuse in Envelopes? :P I've eaten MREs before. As a last ditch survival staple, they are fine. But otherwise, ye need to go foraging and get some real fresh food, mate! :D

  6. In our house chops where fried up with sliced apples only one daughter out of three does not like them. I make sure that her meat is just about done and place on top of another chop..then begin to cook up the apples in the pork drippings...till they resemble brownish apple sauce.

  7. Oh my! This makes me want to buy some pork chops...haven't had any in quite a while. I cook simply now since all kids grown and out. I do miss those days. They go swiftly. I can almost feel the warmth and coziness in your home.


  8. that looks amazingly good! my wife and i looked at eachother and said " we need to get some porkchops!"
    this would be a great crock pot meal too.

  9. HMMM....I just took some pork chops out to thaw last night, I just may have to try this recipe tonight. Thanks.

  10. I don't have a wood cook stove (yet) but I can do some cooking on our flat-top wood stove. We'll be firing it up in a couple of days so I'll just have to take those pork blade steaks (we butchered recently) and try this! Thanks!

  11. I am totally a sucker for a good home cooked porkchop with mashed potatoes and gravy. That looks so good, I almost wanted to eat my screen! :) (Silicon isn't very nommy...) :(