Smothered Pork Chops Recipe (2024)

By Sam Sifton

Smothered Pork Chops Recipe (1)

Total Time
3 hours, plus at least 12 hours’ refrigeration
Read community notes

Get the best pork chops you can, and the thickest, and give yourself a good 12 hours or more of lead time to soak them in the brine. If you are omitting the anise in the brine, you could add some flavor to the dredging flour — chili powder, say, or smoked paprika.

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Yield:8 servings

  • 8thick, bone-in pork chops (more if using smaller chops)
  • Anise brine (see recipe)
  • 4tablespoons neutral oil, like peanut or safflower, or lard
  • 1cup all-purpose flour
  • 8medium yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1bay leaf
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2quarts pork stock or chicken stock
  • 1tablespoon finely chopped parsley, optional

Ingredient Substitution Guide


  1. Step


    In a large nonreactive container, submerge the pork in the brine and place in refrigerator for at least 12 hours or overnight, then remove the chops and dry well with paper towels.

  2. Step


    Heat oven to 325. Heat the oil or lard in a large ovenproof pot or Dutch oven set over medium heat. Dredge the chops in the flour, shaking off the excess. Reserve the leftover flour.

  3. Step


    Cook the chops in the fat, about 4 minutes per side, until they are brown and crisp on the exterior, and transfer to a plate. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add the onions and bay leaf and cook, stirring often, until the onions are softened, about 15 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper.

  4. Add 6 tablespoons flour to the onions, stir well and allow to cook 3 or 4 minutes. Slowly add the stock, stirring and scraping the pan well, until it is incorporated and the mixture is slightly thickened.

  5. Step


    Return chops to the pot and bring to a simmer, then cover tightly and cook in the oven until very tender, 2 or more hours. Transfer chops to a plate and place pot on stovetop, over medium heat. Reduce sauce until it is thick enough to resemble gravy, skimming excess oil and foam if necessary. Return chops to pot to reheat, then serve with their gravy over rice or mashed potatoes. Garnish with parsley if you like.



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Cooking Notes


For those using the NYT Cooking IOS app, the anise brine hyperlink doesn't appear in the ingredient list (persistent issue with this app). You can find the recipe for the brine here:

Star Anise Brine
Time: 30 minutes
Yield: About 1 gallon


1 cup kosher salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 pods star anise
4 bay leaves


The recipe requires a lot of prep time, but the results make it all worthwhile. The recipe is quite delicious (5 stars worth) as it is written, but note that it is essential to use a large pot—at least 8-qt. size. The pork chops will fall off the bone, and the sauce (gravy) is apt to be the best you ever have tasted.


I'm dubious of anything that takes longer than, say, 45 minutes to cook. Isn't brining just for poor quality meat? I'm a convert: the flavor that the brine gave to even high-quality meat raised locally is superlative-defying: it was that good. Modifications: at Step 5, added only 1 quart of stock, dumped the whole thing in the crock pot, and cooked for 6 hours on low. The result was the best pork I've ever had and enough gravy to put some in the freezer for Thanksgiving.

Tim H

Love this recipe, I've made it three times. The star anise flavor really comes through, so it's worth doing the brine. Added mushrooms last time, a nice addition.

Kristina Rebelo

This is one of my favorite recipes -- ever. Thank you, Sam. We get thick, gorgeous pork chops from a local farm when we are in Western Michigan. I hope the recipe doesn't daunt cooks -- if you follow the directions one step at a time, you will get the fabulous outcome. And do use the star of anise; you won't regret that wonderful flavor. I added sliced mushrooms at the end. Other than that, I followed the recipe to a "t."


The chops were very tender, but next time I would add some sliced apples to the onion sauté. It needs a little tartness.


No need to brine; cook for 1-1.5 hrs.; can do it all on the stove; don't use so much stock- I used half the amount called for, but it was still too much.


I've made this recipe a few times. Always a hit with my kids, and they're picky eaters. As you'd guess, it's even better the next day. I like to eat the pork with some corn tortillas, drizzling a little sauce over them, along with some chopped cilantro.

Chris W

This is an easy and delicious recipe. The brine is great but don't be deterred if you don't have time to brine the chops. It's still very good, and after 2 hours of cooking, the pork chops are very tender. I've substituted white wine for a quarter of the chicken stock with great results.


I've made this dish (or similar) so many times but I use the thin cut chops so it takes less time (like an hour). I add paprika for more flavor. Plus, I do it all on the stove top.

Charles Paul Williams

This is seriously good the way it is written. Just had leftovers by shredding the remaining meat in to the remaining gravy, heating, and serving as open faced sandwich over toasted bread. The recipe scales easily. I've made with two, four, and eight chops.


Fantastic dish however can end up on the salty side if you leave in the brine for too long or over salt. Would also recommend chops on the thick side, the meat is incredibly tender once cooked. I add some mushrooms and also some dijon mustard before serving to give the sauce some depth of flavour.


This was delicious. I would make a few changes. No flour on chops during browning to increase the flavor of the gravy. Really brown the onions and then flour to give more depth and color to the gravy. Add sautéed mushrooms and a bit of dijon mustard before serving to add some complexity. The pork was perfectly cooked. So hard to get such moist meat from such a lean cut but this worked.


I see it's called "Anise Brine', but I don't see where and how much star anise to be added. Thank you.


I don't see any mention of the star anise in this recipe............??????


Delish - though brine isn’t necessary. Also, didn’t cook in oven. Used blah pork chops from cub and cooked on stove. Put a little left over cream/butter from potatoes in the gravy. SUPER rich. Almost too rich. Thicker chops might benefit from oven.


Stupid good. Just do what it says. And enjoy.

NYC Cook

This wasn’t good. I followed the recipe exactly. I can’t figure out what people like about this. The anise infused a licorice flavor, which I normally like but that didn’t serve these pork chops well. The gravy was too thin. The onions shrank. My husband will eat anything even when something doesn’t work out, but this one not even he could eat a second time. We threw out the leftovers.


I don’t see the point of doing the initial cooking of the chops in the oven as opposed to the stove top.


I've made it exactly as written, but my favorite version includes buying a Costco pork rack & cutting it into bone-in pork chops, using only 5-6 onions, and replacing some of the stock with mushroom-infused broth and white wine (I use ~2 cups of chicken broth to rehydrate morels or other mushrooms + maybe 1 cup of white wine - ratios are flexible).Note: Use Diamond Kosher salt for the brine (if using Mortons Coarse Kosher salt only add 3/4 cup or less & go lighter when salting the onions)


By far the most delicious pork chops our family has ever had. My son actually said he didn’t know pork chops could be this amazing. I will make this recipe over and over.


I added fresh herbs when sautéing the onions and it really took this to the next level! Thyme, rosemary and sage because I happened to have all three on hand.


This was tasty and froze well. My only issue was I was unable to achieve the beautiful brown color; it was an unappetizing white gravy color.


What pan holds 8 large pork chops? Photo shows pan with 3. Was trying to cook half recipe with 4 chops but they wouldn’t all fit in the pan so it was kind of a hassle to figure it out mid-recipe.


Paired this down for dinner for two. 2 onions, 2 pork chops 1 Qt brine. Perfection!


This sounds great, however the recipe says TWO QUARTS of pork or chicken stock. Before I tackle this, is that a typo?


This was such good comfort food! It's the only way we've been able to get cheap(ish) pork loin chops to come out tender. The chops were 3/4" thick and we did them for the same time at the same temp. We reduced the onions and added mushrooms, as per others' comments, and subbed 1/4 tsp fennel seeds per anise pod. The only change next time will be to eliminate the salt in the sauce and reduce the salt in the brine a bit; it was right on the edge of too salty.


Question: I have 4 bone in chops that are 1” thick, maybe a little less. In Sam’s recipe pic, his chops don’t look ENORMOUS. They don’t look very much thicker than mine (hard to say from the camera perspective). But I’m worried that cooking 1” chops for 2 hours will result in shoe leather. Will it be okay? Will it make them super tender (I am brining first), or should I use a lower oven temp, or use an instant read thermometer and just take them out when they are 145 degrees internal?


Amazing!!!!! Made as directed. Added cremini mushrooms when there was an hour left to cook. My husband almost licked the plate! A definite do over!!

K Schmid

I added mushrooms, tarragon leaves and 2 cloves of minced garlic. Delicious!

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Smothered Pork Chops Recipe (2024)


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