The Key Ingredient For Flavorful Mushroom-Smothered Pork Chops

Pork chops are a versatile, hearty dinner that can be prepared in a lot of different ways, but maybe the most satisfying is smothered in a savory, creamy sauce. The silky texture and rich flavor of a creamy sauce are the perfect complement to meaty pork, whether it's a classic onion gravy or our deeply savory mushroom-smothered recipe. The best part is that a mushroom sauce does double duty beyond adding flavor. "The pork chops end up really tender due to the method of cooking," says recipe developer Jennie Rye, crediting the creamy sauce the pork is finished in for helping the chops stay moist. And there is one essential component of her mushroom sauce that turns it into the most flavorful and luscious gravy you've ever made. When you're making these pork chops, you're going to want double cream.

Double cream isn't a very well-known ingredient in the U.S., but it achieved greater popularity in the United Kingdom and Europe. Double cream is even richer and thicker than heavy whipping cream, and its texture makes it ideal for uses like topping fruit, and adding richness to sauces. Double gets its unique properties from the way it's made. Instead of naturally separating from milk like regular cream, centrifugal forces are applied to milk to force the separation, creating the possibility for much fattier and thicker cream products. In fact, double cream is so rich that if you beat it just a little bit too far, it can turn into butter.

Double cream will make a great mushroom sauce for your pork chops

The extra fat content of double cream is what makes it so good for making smothered pork chops. Your standard whipping cream is 30% butterfat, while heavy whipping cream is between 36% and 38%. Double cream goes far beyond that at 48% butterfat. This doesn't just give it more flavor but it helps when cooking hot dishes because the extra fat makes it less likely to separate and break your sauce. That's even more helpful in a recipe like our mushroom pork chops because you are keeping the sauce hot for an extended period of time as you finish cooking the meat in it.

As mentioned, double cream isn't as common in American grocery stores, and unfortunately, items like sour cream or clotted cream should not be substituted for it, as they can behave differently in recipes. Sticking with heavy cream is an option, but not ideal, as you'll need to be more careful about heat. Your best bet is actually making your own. Double cream can be made on the stovetop by heating a half-gallon of milk over low heat, taking care to stir to prevent scorching, and then using a slotted spoon to skim off the fat as it comes to a low boil. Let the fat sit in the fridge overnight, then blend it smooth. You've now got the ultimate secret weapon for creamy smothered pork chops.