My grandmother's pork chops are the most moist and delicious pork chops anyone has ever made. My grandmother doesn't do much cooking these days, but she shared her recipe with me several years ago.
3-4 pork chops
Black pepper, to taste
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 green apple, chopped
1/2 very small head of cabbage, chopped
Teaspoon of olive oil
Apple sauce and sage for serving (optional)
First, she puts pepper on both sides of each pork chop (she also puts salt, but I omit it). Then she puts a teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet and browns the pork chops for a few minutes on each side, just until golden brown.
[This usually involves a lot of grease spattering on the wall. And my mother yelling about such grease. And my grandmother telling her to relax.]
Then she removes the pork chops from the pan (they're still raw on the inside...) and sets them aside.
In the same skillet, she puts a chopped onion, which she cooks until the pieces start to turn translucent in the remaining olive oil and browned bits from the pork chops. I added sliced cabbage, apples, and carrots, too, but the original recipe is onions only.
Once the onions start to brown, she returns the pork chops to the skillet and fills the skillet with water until the pork chops are just covered. She puts a lid on the skillet and cooks it on low for an hour.
My grandmother serves it with plenty of the "juice" and all the onions (or onions and other veggies, in my case). A little apple sauce doesn't hurt, either. And I had fresh sage, so I threw some of that on top of it, too.
This is a plain dish, for sure, but it is comforting and delicious. I totally reject the idea that "comfort food" has to involve heavy, fatty food like macaroni and cheese. Comfort food is whatever has been cooked for you, with love, for your whole life. Whatever stirs up your memories.
[In this case, my memories involve my mom scrubbing the wall behing the stovetop before dinner was even served.]
I paired my pork chop and braised veggies with a green salad (romaine, kale, olive oil, vinegar, and black pepper). Maybe one day my kids will think of pork chops and braised vegetables with a green salad as comfort food, too. I can only hope!
["Mama, what are those SPOTS doing on the wall?"]