Nothing brings Carla Hall back to her childhood quite like her grandma’s slow-cooked pork chops.
“This is the dish that reminds me of my grandmother because I can see the pork chops in the pan,” she tells PEOPLE in the video above for our exclusive video series, My Food Story. “I can see the pan that she cooked them on. I can actually see her standing there and I just looked at her and waited until she poured those pork chops on the serving platter. Oh my God.”
The Chew cohost would get to enjoy the savory dish made with pork loin chops and “chunky” onion gravy every Sunday after church. “You’re already hungry at church and [after] a 30 minute ride you’re starving by the time you get to Granny’s house,” she says. “These particular pork chops she would start making after she had her oatmeal in the morning and she would cook them right after breakfast and they would slow cook until we got there.”
Her grandmother promises the “secret ingredient” to the sauce was Worcestershire sauce—but Hall has other ideas. “I really think she threw in some Heinz 57,” she says. “She never said she did and we never saw it being built, but I think she did.”
“There’s something about your grandmother’s love that feeds your soul as well as your stomach,” she continues. “So good.”
Carla Hall’s Slow-Cooked Pork Chops
4 bone-in pork loin chops (each 1 1/2 inches thick)
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
⅓ cup canola or other neutral oil
2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
3 tbsp. finely chopped garlic
1 cup unsalted chicken broth
1 cup water
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. white vinegar or cider vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. molasses
1 tsp. ground allspice
1. Rinse the pork chops and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the salt and pepper all over the chops, then dredge in flour to lightly coat. Reserve the remaining flour.
2. In a large, deep skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add two of the pork chops and cook, turning once, until well browned, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the chops to a plate. Repeat with the remaining chops.
3. Add the onions and garlic to the fat in the pan and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low and add the reserved flour. Cook, stirring, until it begins to brown, about 8 minutes.
4. In a small bowl, combine the stock, water, Worcestershire, vinegar, mustard, molasses, and allspice. Add to the pan and stir until well incorporated. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Return the pork chops and their accumulated juices to the pan.
5. Cover and simmer until the chops are very tender, about 45 minutes, turning the chops halfway through cooking. Serve hot.