Sometimes, life gets in the way of regularly posting to your food blog. That was the case for me these past couple of weeks – busy at work, out of town (bachelor party, if you follow me on Instagram), other obligations… But it’s nice to finally have a night at home, cook something really satisfying and think, “I still got it.” Before I made this dinner, I was wandering around Publix looking for something cheap when I spotted a single bone-in pork chop for about $3. I took it as a sign, and kind of made up the rest as I finished grocery shopping. And wouldn’t you know it, this is one of the best things I’ve cooked in a long, long time. For the pork chop, all I did was season it with salt and pepper, sear it really hard and then toss it in the oven at 200 to cook through while I made everything else. The rest of the meal is mushroom gravy and sautéed baby spinach. I didn’t even take out my cutting board for this dinner – it was so easy. If I had fancier plates, it would have looked like a dish at some pricey New American restaurant. It just goes to show, a really good meal can be cheap, simple and attractive without breaking your back or the bank.
1 bone-in center-cut pork chop
12 ounces sliced whit mushrooms
1 12 oz. can beef broth
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb. baby spinach
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Heat a cast iron skillet over very high heat. Give it 5-10 minutes until it is smoking heavily and white-hot. Season each side of the pork chop heavily with salt and pepper.
- While the skillet is heating, melt butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Rinse off mushrooms and add them to the pan, stirring occasionally, and cook for 10 minutes or so.
- Place the pork chop in the skillet; if your skillet isn’t super well-seasoned, add a couple of teaspoons of canola or vegetable oil first. Sear the pork chop for 2-5 minutes until it is golden brown and flip. Sear the other side very quickly, 1-2 minutes, and move the skillet to the oven. It will continue to sear and cook through as you finish the gravy.
- Now that you’ve cleared some room on the stove, add olive oil and spinach to a large pan over medium heat. Keep an eye on the spinach as you finish the gravy, turning and flipping it as it wilts.
- Once the mushrooms have turned brown and given up their liquid, sprinkle the flour over the pan and stir very well until the flour is absorbed. Add about half the beef stock, stirring continuously. Once the mixture begins to bubble, turn the heat to low and let it thicken. Add more stock if it gets too thick. Finish the spinach.
- Remove the pork from the oven; it should be slightly pink in the center – pork should be cooked to about 145 degrees. Put the pork and spinach on a plate and pour the gravy over everything.