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Normally prepared in a casserole dish, pork chop casserole is a dish that bakes pork chops in a flavorful, usually creamy, sauce. Most popular in the Southern and Midwestern United States, pork chop casserole is normally made with canned cream soup, bone-in pork chops, and a variety of other flavorings. Though it may be found on menus in family-style restaurants, it is most often made at home.
Although pork chops are usually bone-in, boneless smoked loin chops can also be used. Generally, thick chops are desired in order to help them remain juicy during cooking. The chops may be lightly breaded before cooking or may simply be seasoned with salt and pepper. Most pork chop casserole dishes also include canned condensed soup. Cream of mushroom is the usual choice, but other cream soups, such as cream of celery, may also be used.
Additional liquids, such as chicken broth or water, are usually added to pork chop casserole. Sour cream and French fried onions or onion soup mix are commonly found in this dish as well. Spices may be limited to just salt and black pepper or include ground ginger or rosemary. Occasionally, fresh mushrooms may be added to compliment the canned soup.
In most versions, the pork chops are first browned in oil. The other ingredients are combined and then poured over the meat after it has been placed in the baking dish. When French fried onions are used, they are normally sprinkled on top after the soup mixture has been poured over the meat. The pork chop casserole is then covered and baked for about an hour.
Some versions include hash browns in the casserole. When hash browns are included, onions and shredded cheese are commonly included as well. In a hash brown pork chop casserole, the soup and seasonings are usually combined with the hash browns, then the hash brown mixture, cheese, and pork chops are arranged in layers in the casserole dish.
A few versions do not used creamed soup. These versions may include more vegetables, such as potatoes, onions, and cabbage. Apple juice and cider vinegar serve as flavoring, and dried fruit may be added as well. Like the cream soup versions, the chops are first browned, then placed into a casserole dish. The other ingredients are combined and heated before being poured over the meat, and then the dish can be covered and baked.