There’s one thing I’ve had to learn this year. When you can’t afford the high-end ingredients but still want delicious food, sometimes you have to bite the bullet and go with what’s on sale. However, with some clever thinking and a complete lack of fear, a decent meal can be had for next to nothing.
I had 5 thin cut pork chops in the freezer. They were left over from a large pack we got on sale last week for $1 a pound. I believe there were 8 total chops and the pack was about $4-5. So basically these 5 chops cost roughly $3.
- 4-6 pork chops – Thin is best when frying. That way you’ll know they’re cooked through. No one likes to cut into an undercooked chop.
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4-1/2 cup oil of your choice – Eyeball it in the pan. You want at least 1/4-inch deep for best coverage. Some people swear by adding a scoop of butter in as well. I don’t do this, but you could.
- Marinate your pork as you normally would for 30-60 minutes. I used 3 tablespoons soy sauce and about 1/2 cup of stale beer. Add in your own spice blend – we all have our favorites. I used red pepper flakes and thyme.
- In one bowl, mix flour, salt and pepper.
- In a separate bowl, mix milk and eggs. You can also add some pepper for extra spice. Whisk until frothy.
- Make an assembly line with your two bowls and a clean plate at the end. Dust each chop one by one in the flour mixture, then dunk in the milk mixture, then back to your flour mixture one more time. Get them as covered as you can. The more coating the better. Place on clean plate and get ready to go.
- Preheat your oven and a glass casserole dish to about 275 degrees.
- Heat your oil on medium. When a tiny bit of flour sizzles, you’re good to go. If it turns brown quickly, you’re too hot.
- Cook each chop one at a time. That way the oil is even around the entire thing. Use your best judgement on when to flip, but be warned, too much flipping during the process can cause the crust to fall off in places. Tip: If you see blood at any part of the process, you’re not done yet. When each chop is done, toss it in the oven and start on the next one.
- After all the chops are fried and in the oven, it’s time to make some caramelized onions to go on top. Keep your oil going and throw in some thinly sliced onion rings along with a tiny dusting of flour from your bowl. Cook until caramelized and spread on top of your chops.
- Leave your chops in the oven until a meat thermometer reads 155-160 at the most. During this time, make your gravy and sides. Some people like to use the frying oil to make a rue gravy. I used a packet, and my sides were mashed potato flakes and a can of carrots. All those things cost me about $1 total as they were all on sale. It pays to buy extra when it’s really cheap! Serve with a side salad or greens.