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Smothered pork chops

This is one of the standard items on any 'soulfood' menu. Originally, when it was the festive fare of slaves, the meat was of low quality, cheap pork chops with more fat than meat–the original reason why they were ''smothered' in a rich, spicy gravy. Now that things are at least better than they were, the chops can be of any quality you can afford and like. For a completely authentic soulfood dinner, served Smothered Pork Chops with Collards and Fatback, Hoppin John and hot Corn Bread.

ingredients

serves 6
6 Pork chops
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp Garlic salt
50 g (2 oz) 1/2 cup Flour
50 ml (2 fl oz) 1/4 cup Cooking oil
300 ml (10 fl oz) 1 1/4 cups Water or stock
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce
1 Medium onion, very finely chopped

method

1. Rub the chops with salt and pepper and sprinkle over half the garlic salt. Set aside for 10 minutes. Gently coat the chops with 40 g (1 1/2 oz) (1/3 cup) of the flour, shaking off any excess.

2. Heat the oil in a large frying-pan. Add the chops and fry for 10 to 15 minutes, or until they are crisp and evenly browned. Transfer them to a plate.

3. Stir the remaining flour into the oil in the pan until it forms a smooth paste. Gradually stir in the water or stock and bring to the boil. Stir in the remaining garlic salt, Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces and simmer for 5 minutes.

4. Stir in the onion and simmer for a further 2 minutes.

5. Return the chops to the pan and cover them with the sauce. Reduce the heat to very low, cover and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the chops are cooked through and tender.

6. Remove from the heat, transfer to a warmed serving dish and serve at once.

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