My family likes all kinds of food, but they really love meat and potatoes. 🙂 The happiest faces I get at dinner time are usually when we are having some variation of meat and potatoes or meat and noodles. Cornmeal fried pork chops with mashed potatoes and roasted garlic gravy fits nicely into that category.
I used boneless pork chops for this. They were really thick ones, so I cut them in half horizontally and pounded them out to tenderize them using my method I mentioned in yesterday’s post. I brined them ahead of time in some buttermilk, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme and paprika to give them good flavor and to keep them moist when cooking. I almost always prep my meat a day in advance and brine or marinate it overnight. It does wonders for the flavor and the juiciness of the end product.
I decided to serve the cornmeal fried pork chops with mashed potatoes and to make a simple cream gravy seasoned with roasted garlic to go with them. This is a rich dish, so I wanted to add something fresh to balance that out. I made a quick pickle relish from green tomatoes and peppers I had in my garden to go on the side.
If you are in the mood for some southern comfort food, I definitely recommend this recipe!
Cornmeal Fried Pork Chops with Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Garlic Cream Gravy
For the chops:
- 4-6 boneless pork chops trimmed, halved if needed, pounded to about 3/4 inch thick
- 1 cup buttermilk
- oil for frying
- 2 tsp salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 2 cups yellow cornmeal seasoned with salt and pepper
For the Roasted Garlic Cream Gravy:
- 2 heads garlic
- olive oil
- 1/4 cup butter or vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk whole or 2 percent
- salt and pepper to taste
For the Mashed Potatoes:
- 4 russet potatoes peeled and cut into pieces
- 4 tbsp butter
- milk and cream
For the Relish:
- 2 mini cucumbers diced
- a few green tomatoes diced
- a few hot peppers diced
- 1/4 red onion diced
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp celery seed
- 1 tsp mustard seed
- 2 tbsp sugar
For the chops:
- Coat the pounded out chops with the buttermilk, salt and spices and allow to brine for 6 hours or overnight. Mix the cornmeal with salt and pepper in a bowl.
- Heat half an inch of oil in a large cast iron skillet over high heat until it is nice and hot. Remove chops one at a time and coat in the cornmeal and place into the oil. Only fry 2-3 chops at a time. Fry without moving for about 1-2 minutes. Fry until golden brown (about 4 minutes depending on your heat). Flip and fry another 3-4 minutes until brown and crispy. If you have a meat thermometer check the temp to be sure they are done.
- If your oil gets too full of burnt cornmeal, discard the oil, wipe the pan and start with fresh oil for remaining chops.
- Drain on paper towels.
For the Gravy:
- Heat oven to 450. Cut the tops off the heads of garlic and place on some heavy duty foil. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt. Close the foil and roast 1 hour. After the heads cool a bit, squeeze out the roasted garlic and mash with a fork.
- Heat oil/butter in a sauce pan over medium. When it is melted add the flour and stir, cooking until the roux is thick and starting to color.
- Slowly whisk in the milk and roasted garlic. Season with salt, pepper, and thyme.
For the Potatoes:
- Cook the potato pieces in boiling water until tender (25-30 min).
- Mash with a potato masher along with the butter and enough milk and cream to make them creamy. Season with salt and pepper.
For the Relish:
- Combine the ingredients in a sauce pot on the stove. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes or so. Pour into a heat safe canning jar and cool. Store in the fridge.