From America's Test Kitchen Season 3: Pork Chops, Two Ways
Tender, flavorful chops stand up very well to rich, hearty gravy. But most of the time, the gravy misses the mark—it’s either so thick you can’t find the pork chop, or so thin and watery that the meat seems to be floating on the plate. We wanted a foolproof recipe for juicy chops smothered in rich gravy with a satiny, thick texture. For a nice balance with the gravy and to allow for the best absorption of the gravy’s flavors, we used thin, not thick, rib chops. Browning them well left meaty browned bits in the pan, essential for making a flavorful gravy. To build further flavor, we made a nut-brown, bacony roux. Thinly sliced yellow onions contributed a significant amount of moisture to the gravy. Garlic, thyme, and bay leaves rounded out the flavorful gravy; we skipped the salt because we had already salted the onions to encourage their browning and so they would give up liquid. For the tenderest chops, we combined the sauce and browned chops in the pan and braised them for half an hour. Not only did the lengthy braise result in moist, tender chops, it also allowed the gravy to thicken and its flavors to meld, so the chops had a rich, velvety coating when served.
Make sure to use low-sodium chicken broth in this recipe; regular chicken broth can result in an over seasoned sauce. Serve smothered chops with a starch to soak up the rich gravy. Simple egg noodles were the test kitchen favorite, but rice or mashed potatoes also taste great.