Pork Chops with Lemon-Caper Sauce

After reading the printed version, I received multiple emails from The New York Times about this dish. Sam Sifton was over the moon about this recipe and the book, Toni Tipton-Martin’s Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African-American Cooking. He described the book as “excellent and invaluable” and noted that this was his favorite recipe in it. I had to try it.

I agreed with Sam Sifton. 🙂 Lemon-caper sauce is incredible! This wonderful dish was prepared very quickly and was packed with flavor. Tipton-Martin learned the sauce technique that elevates these smothered pork chops from restaurateur B. Smith.

I added additional flour to the sauce to make it more of a gravy. We used fresh bread to mop up all of the remaining sauce on our plates. I served the pork chops with sautéed spinach and roasted red and sweet potatoes on the side.

This recipe was adapted from Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African-American Cooking, via The New York Times, contributed by Sam Sifton. I slightly modified the proportions.

Yield: Serves 4 to 5

  • 4 bone-in pork chops (about 8 ounces each) (I used 5 boneless pork chops)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 4 T unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 very small shallot, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 2 T all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 T drained capers
  • 2 T minced fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest, plus 2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • hot sauce, optional
  1. Dry the chops with paper towels, and season aggressively with salt, pepper and the thyme.
  2. Swirl the olive oil into a large skillet, and heat over medium until the oil begins to shimmer.
  3. Add chops, and cook until well browned on each side and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer chops to a plate, and cover to keep warm.
  4. Drain most of the fat from the skillet, then melt 2 tablespoons of butter in it over medium heat until sizzling.
  5. Add the shallot and garlic, and sauté until the aromatics soften, reducing the heat if necessary, about 1 minute.
  6. Sprinkle in the flour, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
  7. Whisk in the wine and chicken stock, raise heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook, uncovered, until the liquid is reduced by half, 7 to 10 minutes.
  8. Stir in the capers, parsley, lemon zest and juice and hot sauce to taste (if you’re using it)(I omitted it), and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes.
  9. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter until it’s melted and the sauce looks smooth.
  10. Nestle the pork chops into the sauce, and allow them to warm up for a couple of minutes, then serve, pouring sauce over each pork chop to taste.
  11. Garnish with more fresh parsley.

Smothered Pork Chops with Cornbread

When I received three varieties of beautiful kale in my CSA box, this recipe was a perfect celebration.  The greens were so bountiful I even took a picture of them. 🙂  The sauce in this dish is thickened with greens and broth, rather than cream.  So flavorful and healthy.

This recipe was adapted from Everyday Food. I have made this dish on several occasions and have used up to six pork chops and two or more bunches of kale (or many other combinations of greens).  I serve it with roasted acorn squash and roasted potatoes as well.  An autumn feast!

For the Cornbread:

  • 3 T vegetable oil, plus more for dish
  • 1 cup fine yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • coarse salt and pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk (1% okay)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

For the Smothered Pork Chops:

  • 1 1/2 T vegetable oil
  • 4-6 bone-in or boneless pork chops (about 1 1/2 pounds total; 3/4 inch thick)
  • 1 medium white, yellow, or red onion, sliced
  • 2 T all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • coarse salt and pepper
  • 1 to 2 bunches kale, tough stems and ribs removed, leaves cut into narrow ribbons (or any other combination of greens)

  1. Make the Cornbread: Preheat oven to 400 degrees, preferably on convection. Brush an 8-inch square baking dish with oil or spray with cooking oil.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together cornmeal, 1 cup flour, baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon salt.
  3. Add milk, egg, and 3 tablespoons oil and whisk until combined.
  4. Transfer to baking dish and bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in dish on a wire rack.
  5. Meanwhile, Prepare the Pork: In a large skillet, heat 1 1/2 T oil over medium-high.
  6. Season pork generously with salt and pepper and cook until browned and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter and loosely tent with foil.
  7. Reduce heat to medium, add onion, and cook until softened, 5 minutes.
  8. Add 2 tablespoons flour and stir to combine.
  9. Gradually whisk in broth and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, 3 minutes.
  10. Add kale and cook, stirring, until wilted and sauce has thickened.
  11. Serve sauce over pork chops, if desired, alongside cornbread. (I know it isn’t “smothered” but it’s prettier if the meat sits on a bed of greens!)

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