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!
- 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
- Season pork chops with sea salt and move to the refrigerator to dry brine for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight.
- In a heatproof bowl cover cashews with just boiled water. Allow to soak for at least 1 hour before draining and blending with broth.
- 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.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium high heat in a large skillet until hot.
- 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,
- 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.
- While onions are cooking drain and rinse cashews. Add them to a blender along with broth and blend until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Garnish with fresh herbs and serve over mashed cauliflower-recipe here.