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Continuing the Mother’s Day Theme, My Mama’s Braised Pork Chops

This week seems to have made me very nostalgic for my mother’s recipes. My mama taught us all so much about cooking. When I was younger, Marti and I always used to tell a then much much younger Hannah, “This is how southern women learn to cook!” while taking turns holding her and making meals. I’ve been so blessed to have so many family, friends, and roommates who love to cook, all who’ve taught me new basics, recipes and techniques. But the foundation came from my mother, so on Mother’s Day it’s only fitting that I would cook her pork chops.

This method of cooking pork chops yields such a tender wonderful result. Braising takes awhile to reach the perfect point, but really after the browning process, they’re simmering on the stove, not actually requiring attention just time.

Smoked paprika [2] is everywhere in the culinary world right now. It seems to be featured on every food show, in every month’s food magazines and all over the internet. We’ve always made this recipe with regular paprika, but I decided to try it in a dish I knew well to taste the difference first. I don’t really think I’d repeat it for this recipe, but the smell straight from the jar is fantastic. I’d definitely be willing to try it on deviled eggs or broiled chicken. I think maybe the slow braising process might not have been a good match for the smokiness to present itself. It’s not that it tasted bad, it just didn’t add anything and if you smell the two spices side by side, there is a definite difference. It also would probably be delicious as a topping on hummus.

3 thick or 6 thin-cut pork loin chops, bone-in (we prefer thin)
2 tbsps butter
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper

Generously season pork chops with paprika, salt, and pepper. In a large saute pan, melt two tbsps butter on medium heat. Turn heat to high and brown pork chops on both sides. If using thin chops, brown in two batches. Cover with water so that just the tops are showing and simmer at least an hour on low heat. Longer the better. Serve with a side of the broth for dipping.