The Guinness and onion mixture produces a slightly sweet, meaty gravy. This is actually a quick braise—you brown the meat, then simmer it gently in a little liquid until tender. Cooking these chops on the bone adds flavor, too.
2 medium to medium-large onions, halved and sliced lengthwise through the root end
2 large garlic cloves, minced
Pinch of dried thyme
1cupGuinness stout or dark beer, or more as needed
1 to 1½teaspoons coarse-grained mustard, or to taste
¾teaspoonbalsamic or red wine vinegar, or to taste
1tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (optional)
Pat the chops dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Heat the oil in a nonreactive wide, heavy skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium-high heat. Gently slip the chops into the skillet and sauté, shaking the pan occasionally to prevent sticking, until the chops are nicely browned on each side, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer the chops to a plate.
Add the onions, garlic, and thyme to the skillet. Sprinkle lightly with salt and toss to coat. Cover and sweat (page 79) or cook for about 5 minutes, stirring once or twice with a wooden spoon. Uncover and continue to cook, tossing, until the onions soften, 3 or 4 minutes. Add the Guinness, scraping up (Deglazing Basics) the flavorful browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon; bring to a boil. Tuck the chops back into the pan, spooning some of the onions and liquid over the chops. (The chops should be about halfway covered with liquid; add more if necessary.) Adjust the heat to maintain a simmer (don’t let the liquid boil or the meat will toughen; use a Flame-Tamer if you have one).
Cover the pan with foil and then with a lid. Simmer or braise, basting the chops once or twice with the pan juices, until the chops are very tender, usually about 45 minutes from the time they start to simmer. Turn the chops over once about halfway through the cooking time. (Don’t overcook or the chops will become dry. Also, don’t let the condensed moisture on the foil drip into the gravy when uncovering the pan.)
Transfer the chops and onions to warm serving plates, covering them loosely with foil to keep warm. Tilt the pan to one side and degrease the pan juices, spooning off the fat with a large metal spoon or skimmer. Raise the heat and boil the gravy down, uncovered, until it is concentrated in flavor and thickened, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in the mustard and vinegar to taste plus the parsley. Taste and correct the seasonings, adding more salt, pepper, and vinegar, if needed. Pour the gravy over the chops and serve hot.