Creamy Paleo Pork Chops

These creamy smothered pork chops are the perfect healthy comfort food! And the best part is, the lusciously creamy sauce is 100% dairy free. It’s an ideal cold weather dish to warm you up from the inside out.

This recipe mainly relies on two things to maximize flavor:  Caramelization of the pork chops + onions in the skillet and Flavor boosting ingredients like umami seasoning, nutritional yeast, and coconut aminos

The creamy gravy is pretty straightforward, but if you’d like to take it up a notch, you could caramelize some mushrooms with the onions for a little something *extra*. The cashews take the place of flour to thicken the sauce and add body.

This is a wonderful dish to serve over mashed cauliflower and I like to add a little green to the plate with grilled asparagus. I just made these for a very picky party of 10 and they gobbled them up, which of course, made me very happy! I always smile when someone enjoys the food I make and I know it’s nurturing them. I’m always doing a happy dance when that happens!

BTW-I purchased most of the dry ingredients from Thrive Market.

My favorite pan to caramelize and sear is my cast iron pan, which is a cinch to clean-up once you’ve seasoned and used it for a bit. It gets better as it ages :-).

Ok, I think enough pre-amble. Let’s get to cooking!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 thick cut bone in pork chops – about 2 pounds worth
  • Real Salt-about 1/2 teaspoon per pork chop
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews-enough just boiled water to cover the cashews
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil or coconut oil
  • 1 medium sized onion, thinly sliced 
  • ½ pound mushrooms-chopped (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 ½ tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 1 teaspoon Umami seasoning or all purpose seasoning
  • Pinch of cayenne (optional-but really good!)
  • 2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 cups broth 
  • ¼ cup red wine (optional)
  • salt + pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley or thyme to garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Season pork chops with sea salt and move to the refrigerator to dry brine for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight. 
  2. In a heatproof bowl cover cashews with just boiled water. Allow to soak for at least 1 hour before draining and blending with broth. 
  3. When ready to start cooking, remove pork chops from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature while you prep and gather the other ingredients. 
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium high heat in a large skillet until hot. 
  5. Pat pork chops very dry with paper towels for about 3-4 minutes per side – until golden brown. Remove to a plate and set aside. You’ll probably have to cook in two batches to prevent crowding,
  6. Reduce heat to medium and add 1 tablespoon oil, sliced onions, mushrooms with 1/2 teaspoon Real salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and starting to caramelize – about 5 minutes.
  7. While onions are cooking drain and rinse cashews. Add them to a blender along with broth and blend until smooth and creamy. Set aside. 
  8. When onions are nicely caramelized, add chopped garlic, nutritional yeast, pinch of cayenne, umami seasoning, coconut aminos, and thyme. Cook, stirring, for about a minute or so, until you can smell the spices. 
  9. Add broth and cashew mixture to the pan and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add wine, if using. Bring to a simmer and let reduce slightly until sauce coats a spoon – about 3-5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper if desired. 
  10. Add pork chops back to the pan along with any juices that have collected on the plate, and turn to coat. Cover and reduce heat to a bare simmer.  Cook until pork chops are fully cooked – turning halfway through – about 15 minutes more. 
  11. Garnish with fresh herbs and serve over mashed cauliflower-recipe here.

 

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