Leah’s note: I’m off enjoying San Diego with my husband and friends! Thanks so much to my hilarious and beautiful not-sister, Janet, for sharing one of her family’s favorite meals! I can’t wait to try this! You know, with my new found love of pork chops and all!
Hi Everyone. My name is Janet. I’m Leah’s big sister…sorta.
Our parents got married when we were like…18 and 24 or something. I think we met like once (for less than 12 hours) about a year before our parents married. Our true bonding began when I asked her to be in my wedding in 2006. Over the past few years we’ve become…if nothing else…friends.
Back to my wedding…my mother got me the gift when I got married in 2005 (it’s a long story…he’s the same guy) of a cookbook by Paula Deen. The inscription said something like, “good cooks aren’t born, they’re made…” God knows I certainly wasn’t the best cook in the world; I had just graduated from college. I could cook a mean Ramen bowl or single chicken breast, but that was about it. All of a sudden I had to cook for a family (he came pre-family-ized). So for a long while, this cookbook was my Bible in the kitchen. I learned A LOT. I learned what my family likes and dislikes, I learned how to ½ a recipe because apparently, Paula Deen has 8-14 children living with her at any given time. I learned to deal with –ish (as in a medium-ish potato) and I learned that even when it’s not perfectly like the recipe…no one cares because you MADE a meal for them.
One of the family’s favorites is Farmer’s Pork Chops. Really there’s not much to it: meat, onions, and potatoes. Maybe that’s why they like it…maybe they like it because it tastes like so much more. My biggest complaint about this meal is that it’s time consuming. I can’t make it all the time, because, frankly…I’m generally burning at both ends. As it is right now I’ve got a load in the wash, one in the dryer, dishes going in the washer, Dora blaring out of the TV and Tinker Toys carpeting my living room floor. Having said that, it’s always a hit when I do make it…so here we go.
- 8 medium potatoes
- 1/2 medium onions
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 8 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 -2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2-3/4 teaspoon pepper
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional) or 1/4 cup chives
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
- 8 center-cut pork chops, about 1/2 inch thick
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Peel potatoes, slice 1/4 inch thick and cover with cold water.
- Slice onion into very thin slices. Cut slices in half.
Make The White Sauce:.
- Melt butter; remove from heat.
- Stir in flour and add salt and pepper.
- Return to heat and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is bubbly.
- Add milk, 1 cup at a time.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently.
- Reduce heat and simmer 1 to 2 minutes, then let stand at least 1 to 2 minutes.
- Stir in parsley or chives, if desired.
- Drain potatoes.
- Layer half the potatoes in a well-greased 15 x 10 inch casserole dish(I use 9 x 13 and it’s fine).
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
- Scatter half of onion slices on top of potatoes.
- Repeat with remaining potatoes and onions.
- Cover potatoes with white sauce.
- Cover casserole dish with plastic wrap and microwave for 5 minutes on high OR bake uncovered for 15 minutes.
- Mix together flour and seasoned salt and dredge pork chops in flour mixture.
- Lightly brown chops in vegetable oil. *Do not cook them completely*.
- As chops are removed from frying pan, lay them on top of the potatoes.
- Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45-60 minutes.
- The juices from the pork chops will drip down into the potatoes and taste oh-so-yummy!
I “halved” the original recipe (cause I ain’t feeding 8…and I didn’t have that many pork chops). After you set the oven to preheat at 350, peel and slice the potatoes.
Cover them in a bowl of cold water and let them sit while you slice the onion (being smart and using a mandolin doesn’t prevent tears…FYI).
Layer the potatoes into a casserole dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper, then layer the onions…repeat until you’re outta stuff (remember…-ish).
Then cover the layers with white sauce. CRAP! White sauce that you forgot to make beforehand!! Okay…make the white sauce and then pour it over the layers.
Since you wasted a bunch of time making the white sauce, cover with plastic wrap and throw in the microwave for 3-5 minutes (I’ve only done it this way once before, and the mess afterwards reminded why I usually put it in the oven for 15 minutes instead).
Mix flour and Lawry’s seasoned salt and then dredge the pork chops in flour mixture.
Lightly brown the chops in (olive) oil (I do not like vegetable oil).
Because these suckers were like…the worlds thickest pork chops…I let them go about 5-6 minutes on each side. Remove the chops from the pan and place them directly on the potato/onion layers. Place in the oven and let them alone for about 45-60 minutes.
I had some left over onion, so I sautéed those in a little butter and garlic and poured them over some green beans for our veggie.
Here’s a lesson…don’t use the worlds thickest pork chops when making this. The juices were too much and made the potatoes a little too runny…and it took FOR-EV-ER to get them to cook all the way through.