Make sure to have a big bowl of mashed potatoes with these Pork Chops with Maple-Black Pepper Gravy to sop up all the goodness!
Welcome to North Carolina, home of the hog farm. For those who love bacon, you’re welcome. For those who have meandered through our fair state with their car windows down and passed by a farm, my sincerest apologies.
I’ll admit it, I’m a pork fan and am more than willing to savor the whole hog, so to speak. So, when I saw that February’s Real Simple had an eight-page spread on dishes to make using various parts of the pig (ham excluded for some reason), I had to pick it up. From chops to tenderloin to ribs and belly, this issue’s a keeper.
It’s all about the gravy, folks. Cooking the chops was no more difficult than sprinkling them with salt and letting them sear and brown in a medium-high skillet (mine’s cast iron, which I recommend for even heat).
Once they were done, it was time to make the gravy, also an easy process. I made a slurry from a bit of broth and some flour, then added it to the skillet (after removing the pork) along with the rest of the broth and maple syrup. I whisked it well and let it simmer down for a frew minutes, than removed it from the heat and added vinegar and black pepper.
I was dubious about the use of vinegar from the moment I saw it in the ingredient list, and if not for the fact that I make the dishes exactly as written so I can review them, I’d have subbed it out on the spot.
My dubiousness was not in vain. The vinegar just didn’t work. I wished I had used white wine instead. Even Dijon mustard would have been a better option.
That being said, if I had made the substitution and used white wine, the gravy would have rocked and the dish would have been outstanding; I’m sure of it. The hint of maple with the pork is really yummy and the black pepper adds so much flavor. It could have been fantastic.
What I’d Do Different Next Time
I’d replace the cider vinegar with white wine.
Center-cut bone-in pork chops: $12.99
Chicken broth: $2.69
Maple syrup: $4.99
Pork Chops with Maple-Black Pepper Gravy Recipe
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 4 10-oz. center-cut, bone-in pork chops
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
- 1½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Season pork chops with salt. Working in batches if necessary, add chops to skillet and cook, turning once, until browned and a thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 145°F, 5 to 6 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; tent with foil to keep warm.
- Whisk flour and ½ cup broth in a medium bowl until smooth. Add flour mixture, syrup, and remaining 1½ cups broth to skillet. Cook over medium-high, whisking occasionally, until slightly thickened and reduced to about 1 cup, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar and pepper; serve over pork chops.