As we all know, today is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. What you may not know is that Dr. King was a true fan of good old fashioned authentic southern food. Born in Alabama in 1929, Dr. King was raised eating the African-American food of the south, commonly called Soul Food and his favorite food was fried pig's ears sandwiches. Usually I would encourage you to make this dish in honor of him and his accomplishments, but I doubt any of us will be frying up pig's ears today. Instead, I suggest we make another of his soul food fave, smothered pork chops. For the recipe,

Smothered Pork Chops
From The Gutsy Gourmet

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups rich beef broth
Pinch Sage leaves, crumbled
6 thick loin pork chops
1 cup flour for dredging
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup lard
3 large onions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup celery, minced

  1. In a small saucepan melt butter over medium-high heat, stir in the 2 tablespoons flour, and cook, stirring constantly with a wire whisk, until lightly browned.
  2. Stir in broth and sage, mix well, remove from heat, and set aside. This mixture will be the sauce.
  3. Add salt and pepper to the 1 cup flour; dredge chops in the mixture.
  4. In a large, heavy skillet heat 1/4 cup of the lard over medium- high heat. Add chops and cook until they are browned.
  5. Move browned chops to a large, oven casserole with a cover.
  6. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  7. Melt the remaining lard in skillet over high heat.
  8. Add onions, garlic, and celery; lower heat to
    medium, and cook, stirring frequently to avoid burning, until onions are golden (about 8 to 10 minutes).
  9. Remove vegetables with a slotted spoon and place over chops in the casserole.
  10. Pour off all lard from the skillet. Add reserved sauce, raise heat to high, bring to a boil, and cook for 1 minute, stirring vigorously and scraping the bottom of the skillet.
  11. Pour sauce over chops in casserole, cover, and bake for 30 minutes.
  12. Serve with mashed potatoes.

Serves 6.