Pass the gravy!

13 Jan

I grew up in the Midwest.  Winter was a time for comfort food.  Pancakes dripping with maple syrup for breakfast, hot sandwiches loaded with melted cheese for lunch, and huge roasts for dinner.  My  mom was, and still is, the stereotypical “50’s” cook.  Meat and potatoes all the way!  A typical winter supper consisted of a roast, mashed potatoes, and corn on a plate swimming in gravy!  Lets face it, gravy made the meal.  Making good gravy was a skill best learned from granny, and a great source of pride when it was smooth and creamy.  It is a skill that I myself have mastered under the guidance of my mother.  I take great pride in my gravy.  Good gravy is quite heavenly.  To quote one of my favorite humorists:

“I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage”. –Erma Bombeck

That is the family that I come from too.  When gravy was on the supper table, and it often was in the winter, there was a stack of white bread on a plate next to it.  Gravy was ladled on the meat and potatoes, and when that was gone, we would sop up our leftover gravy with white bread.  Gravy Bread was a lone food group that was dearly loved in my childhood home, in no small part because of my moms outstanding gravy.  Rich, beefy, and salty.  Perfectly juxtaposed to the sweet white bread. Not exactly a health food though!

I still love roasts and gravy, but that is not a staple in my household these days.  I like to make pork chops with apple gravy as a good comfort food.  Try it!  Here is my secret recipe:

Pork Chops and Apple Gravy

  • 4 pork chops-lightly salt and pepper them before browning.
  • 1 T. margarine
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/4 c. chopped yellow onion
  • 2 T apple juice
  • 1 cup plain apple sauce
  • 1/2 c. light sour cream
  • 2 t. flour
  • 2 t. dijon mustard

Heat the olive oil and margarine.  Brown pork chops.  Remove chops to a plate and tent with foil.  Keep the pan on medium heat and add apple juice and chopped onion. Let onion cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring once or twice.  Sprinkle the flour into the pan and add the apple sauce.  Heat for 2 minutes and add dijon mustard.  Stir and let simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add the sour cream and stir until well incorporated.  Put the pork chops back in, cover and simmer over low heat until chops are done, about 15-20 minutes.

This is a very forgiving recipe, and can easily be adjusted to taste.  Add more apple sauce or sour cream if you like, and maybe even some chopped garlic with the onion.  Have fun with this.

I usually serve this with brown rice, and make baked apples as a side dish.  It can also be served over bread or noodles.  Truth be told, if I was serving it to my parents, I would have a stack of white bread on the table!  Have fun with it and serve it with your own flair.  My children request this by name in the wintertime.  It is a comfort food, warm and delicious.  Pass the gravy!

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