Tender and juicy pork chops cooked in a skillet, along with a rich and creamy sour cream gravy, for the perfect dinner.
Tender and juicy pork chops with a luscious and savory sour cream gravy. This is when I roll up my eyes and look towards heaven. This is when prayers escape your lips. With a few ingredients, these pork chops are seasoned well enough with some spice. They end with the right moisture in them to be juicy, and the inside meat stays tender.
Pork chops are for everyone. They are meaty and perfect for searing or braising. Succulent and juicy meat makes it a universal favorite.
You can cook pork chops in various ways and with a sauce or gravy. The sour cream gravy here will give you a respite from all those other regular sauces. It is creamy with a golden velvety texture, and the savory taste hits all the right notes.
Sour cream gravy
This is one versatile gravy. Since this is savory, you can pair it as a side with dishes ranging from big grilled meats to air-fried greens or mashed potatoes. It adds amazing flavor and accentuates the taste of the mains.
Roux is the secret behind a good gravy
The most important part of a good gravy is the roux. A fine roux, done the right way, makes the base for a silky and creamy gravy.
Roux is equal parts flour and fat (usually butter), cooked together to thicken sauces and gravy. The measurements are simple and stay the same no matter the purpose you use the roux for.
The technique is what matters, which involves continuous whisking of the flour with the butter while the mixture cooks. Allowing it to cook for a long time produces a darker color, which suits some dishes roux is used in or supports.
The sour cream in this gravy offers more flavor than heavy cream while still offering good fat, i.e., 20% fat. The sourness in the gravy makes it a compelling savory and creamy gravy to compliment your meats like beef, lamb, pork, or turkey. This sour cream gravy is a leading side for more drab meat like turkey.
For seasoning pork chops
Pork chops with/without bone - Get pork chops about 1 to 1½ inches thick. Thick-cut chops need more time to season and cook in the skillet too. I believe bone-in pork chops always have more flavor and prefer that. Boneless pork chops are ok, too, but you should cook them for a few minutes less.
Garlic powder - for a more intense and convenient douse of garlicky flavor.
Fresh thyme - adding 2-3 sprigs introduces a herby flavor.
To make the gravy
Sour cream - offers a creamy and flavorful addition to make a delicious savory gravy.
Butter & Oil - butter is used as fat to flavor the pork chops while they cook. Since it has a lower smoking point, oil is used with butter to prevent it from burning. Use vegetable oil and not olive oil because of the latter burns at higher temperatures.
Shallots chopped & Minced Garlic - usual aromatics to form the flavor base for the sour cream gravy.
Flour - is needed to thicken the gravy and gives it body.
Beef stock - drives the flavor in the gravy, and it is very important to get good quality stock from a good brand. It is not a sin to spend a bit more on this; the result would be worth it. The beef broth will work too.
Worcestershire sauce - a fermented English sauce that is famously used for its umami.
For both seasoning and gravy
Salt & Pepper - is used in seasoning the pork chops and also in the gravy. Add salt and pepper towards the end after tasting the sauce. Add in quantity to achieve your desired taste.
How to cook pork chops with sour cream gravy
Prep and season pork chops
Pat the pork chops dry with a kitchen or paper towel. We need the chops' surface to dry, or they will not sear properly.
Mix all the seasoning ingredients in a small bowl. Take a spoonful at a time and drizzle over one side of the pork chop and then the other. Rub the seasoning evenly over the chop with your hands.
Let the chops rest for 30 minutes at least. You can also keep it seasoned overnight in the refrigerator for the most flavorful chops.
Sear the chops
I prefer a large cast iron skillet to sear the chops. A heavy skillet retains and spreads the heat evenly, allowing for uniform chops cooking.
Add butter and a few drops of cooking oil. Cooking oil increases the butter's smoking point and prevents it from burning. Melt butter in the skillet on medium-high heat. Place the chops on one side and sear it for 3-4 minutes undisturbed.
Flip the chops and sear them on the other side for another 3 minutes. Check for an internal temperature of 145 with an instant-read thermometer. The exterior will have developed a nice crust with a brown color with some bits charred.
Take the chops off the skillet and wrap them with foil. Let it rest for 5 minutes which keeps the chops tender and juicy.
Prepare roux for the sauce.
In the same skillet, melt the rest of the butter. Add the aromatics like shallots, garlic, and thyme and saute them.
Add flour, saute for 30 seconds, and then pour the stock while whisking the mix. Let it simmer with occasional whisking until the base starts to thicken. The roux is done now.
Add the sour cream and Worcestershire sauce to the mix. Mix until you feel there are no lumps and the sauce becomes smooth. The gravy should look golden brown by now with a velvety finish.
Cook sauce and chops together.
Place the cooked chops back onto the skillet. Do not leave behind any juice that would have oozed out. Pour the sour cream gravy on the chops and simmer for up to 2 minutes. This ensures that the gravy gets some of the flavors from the juice of the seared chops and, at the same time, keeps the chops moist.
Serve and enjoy!
Tips for juicy pork chops
- Not all pork chops are pork chops. What I mean is you can get chops of different quality. The loin area of the pig is quite large, and you might get chops from any part of the loin. There is no substitution or fixing for a bad chop. Get it from a good butcher shop or a brand you trust in the supermarket.
- Seasoning is a must. Dry rub salt, pepper, and other spices or herbs to the chops and keep them refrigerated for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
- Do not directly serve on a plat when you take the pork chops from the skillet. Wrap them with foil and allow them to rest for 5 minutes. Resting chops, allow it to cook further until the temperature settles and evens out. It makes the chops reabsorb the juices that come out while cooking.
- Foiling the chops while resting traps the steam and heat. It prevents the chops from drying out by losing moisture. All the moisture and heat are reabsorbed, keeping the inner meat tender and juicy.
Frequently Asked Questions about cooking pork chops
Pork chops are a very lean cut of meat. They are loin cuts, meaning they have been cut from both sides of the spine - between the ribcage and the hip. These are cut perpendicular to the spine.
Now, not all chops are lean. It depends on the part and the quality of the animal which they came from. Some have a decent amount of fat. Usually, thicker chops have a layer of fat attached to the lean meat.
When you see marbled patterns on the chops, it has good fat and flavor. The thickness of the chops determines the seasoning and cooking time.
For best results, use a cooking thermometer. If the chops you get are the same thickness and quality as that mentioned in the recipe, you follow the time for searing in the skillet to get perfectly done chops.
A cooking thermometer will make your cook error-proof for any chop, thinner or thicker. Pork chops need to be cooked to 145 degrees. Ensure you insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the chop and read the temperature.
If the temperature is higher, take it out of the skillet and let it rest. If the chops are yet to reach 145, check it after a couple of minutes.
Seasoning or dry-brining meat like pork chops helps bring out their flavor. Salt is added in cooking to add flavor and balance all the other flavors and tastes. Salt or sodium chloride follows the laws of chemistry (like diffusion and osmosis) and helps the chops absorb the salt into the inner meat. It also loosens the tough protein strands and helps the moisture in the meat move across the membranes and keep the meat juicy.
How do you store pork chops?
You may store the pork chops separately from the sour cream gravy. You can store them for 3-4 days. This ensures that the chops do not become soggy when everything freezes.
Sear the chops, prepare the gravy, and stop before adding the gravy to the chops in the skillet. You can do that once you take them from the fridge before you serve. This helps in both ways - to sear the chops a bit while reheating them and before adding the gravy. Also, keep the chops moist while heating them along with the gravy.
Serve pork chops and this sumptuous sour cream gravy with mashed potatoes or greens. I have a beautiful mashed potato recipe for you here - Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes.
The sour cream gravy, a versatile sauce, can be stored separately and served with any grilled or roasted meat dish made from beef, pork, poultry, or lamb. It can also be paired with grilled veggies and will taste fantastic.
Other skillet recipes
Sour Cream Pork Chops
- 1 Skillet To sear the pork chop and cook the gravy
- 1 Small bowl to mix the seasonings for the pork chop's dry brine
- 2 pork chops with / without bone
- 3 tablespoon Butter
- ¼ cup Shallots chopped
- ½ tablspoon Garlic
- 1 teaspoon Flour
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Pepper
- ½ teaspoon Garlic powder
- 1 cup Beef Stock
- ⅓ cup Sour Cream
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
- Pat dry the pork chops with a kitchen towel.
- In a small bowl, mix salt, pepper, garlic powder, and ½ teaspoon of fresh thyme. Season the pork chops well on both sides.
- Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a cast Iron skillet with a few drops of oil to prevent the butter from burning.
- Sear pork chops for 3-4 minutes on one side (at medium-high heat) undisturbed. Flip and cook again for 3 minutes.
- Remove the chops from the pan to a plate. Keep it loosely covered with foil.
- In the same skillet melt rest of the butter. Add chopped shallots, garlic, and 1-2 sprigs thyme. Saute for 1 minute until the shallots have softened and the garlic is aromatic.
- Add flour and saute for 30 seconds. Stir in the stock, whisk well and let it simmer until the sauce starts to thicken.
- Reduce heat. Add sour cream and Worcestershire sauce. Mix until no lumps and the sauce is smooth.
- Place the cooked chops back into the skillet along with any juice on the plate. Pour over the sauce on the chops and simmer for 1-2 minutes.
- Serve with mashed potatoes and green beans.