August 23, 2010

Pork Chops with Simple Mushroom Sauce

As a child my Mom made a very, very simple pork chop dinner that became a staple of my childhood; Pork Chops with Mushroom Sauce. It couldn't be easier; brown pork chops, put them in a pan and put a can of mushroom soup over them. You can almost picture it baking in a yellow Corelle baking dish with white flowers on the side, inside our avocado green oven can't you?

Although I made them a few times when I was first married because they were affordable, delicious and easy... my husband wasn't a fan of pork and honestly, living in Los Angeles, we adapted to the regional cooking styles and didn't buy much pork or beef. About eight years later I would make pork chops for the kids and I when my husband was working nights, but we didn't really buy many pork products until we were relocated to the Midwest. It's only in the last three or four years we've bought more pork regularly... including simplicities like bacon and ham. The kids love pork entree's but I still have to make them on nights when my husband works late!

This weekend I turned to Mom's old standby. The only thing I did different was to deglaze the pan so get the yummy flavor of the browned pork chop as well as make 'more' sauce so they were nice and tender without baking dry and there was plenty of sauce to go around as my three kids love the mushroom sauce as much as I do!


Pork Chops (4-5)
1 can 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup
salt & pepper

In a pan, heat a tablespoon of oil or shortening until hot and quickly brown pork chops two at a time, both sides, until a nice golden brown color. Season with salt and pepper while you are browning them. They will not be cooked on the inside, this is only to sear them a bit and add color. Keep the pan hot. Remove the chops to a baking dish of your choice. I use a foil lined baking pan for easy clean up afterward.

With the pan empty but still hot, add a half cup of water and quickly scrape the bottom, stirring and scraping to deglaze the pan. Turn the heat down or even off at this point. Add 1 can of mushroom soup to the pan and whisk the soup into the sauce. (I have used JUST the deglazed sauce over the pork chops and NOT added the soup - which is wonderful as well.) Whisk until smooth and pour over the pork chops to cover.

Bake in the oven at 350 for one hour until the pork chops are completely done and tender. If by chance they start to get too dry before they are done to your liking, just cover the pan with foil while it bakes.

Another hint: If you cover the pan tightly with foil at the start and bake it for an hour completely covered, it makes enough sauce to double as a great mushroom gravy for mashed potatoes!

Whisking the soup into the deglazed sauce

Once incorporated, whisk until smooth

Have your browned pork chops waiting

Cover the chops with sauce and bake open-topped for a nice thick sauce
or cover completely to seal in the steam to make enough
sauce to double as a great mushroom gravy to serve
over mashed potatoes with this dish!

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