Smothered Pork Chops
from America's Test Kitchen: Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
salt and pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 (8-10oz) bone-in blade-cut pork chops, ~1" thick
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 onion, halved and sliced thin
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon beef broth
1 bay leaf
3/4 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
Combine onion powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a small bowl. Cut two slits, about 2 inches apart, through outer layer of fat on each chop. Pat chops dry and rub evenly with spice mixture.
Heat oil in an 10-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Brown chops well on each side, about 3 to 5 minutes per side; transfer to plate. Add butter fat left in skillet and melt over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in 1/2 cup broth and bay leaf.
Nestle the browned chops back into the skillet along with any accumulated juices, cover, and bake at 300º for 90 minutes.
When done, remove chops from skillet and tent with foil to keep warm. Strain braising liquid through a fine mesh strainer into a measuring cup. Discard bay leaf and save onions. Let braising liquid sit for 5 minutes and use a spoon to remove fat from surface. Return 1/3 cup defatted pan juices to skillet and bring to a simmer. Whisk remaining 1 tablespoon broth and cornstarch together in a small bowl and then whisk into the skillet. Simmer until sauce is thickened. Stir in the onions and vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve sauce and onions over the chops.