Here we are a week from Christmas. I hope things are tranquil in your household. No matter what your situation, this stovetop casserole is a perfect weeknight meal. The standard recipe (like this one) is baked and includes cream of whatsis soup. My version is a rice casserole without soup that’s cooked on top of the stove in a dutch oven for one dish simplicity.
You can use any type of vegetables you like. I used onions, carrots, celery and mushrooms for this version. They also helped flavor the sauce. You could add something like broccoli after making the sauce. Add spinach and tender greens towards the end of cooking. Keep the tenderness of the vegetables in mind when selecting them. Veggies which can be steamed or require low volumes of liquid are good choices as are leftover veggies which can reheat in the pot while the rice is cooking.
In order to keep the clean up to a minimum, we brown boneless pork chops or chicken breasts in the dutch oven first and let them stand while we saute the veggies and make the sauce. They will finish cooking when we add them back to the pot with the rice. Ours were very thin and nearly cooked through by the time they finished browning. We put them in at the very end. As with the vegetables, you’ll need to take the thickness of the meat into account so they won’t over cook.
You’ll want to use some sort of broth to make the most flavorful pan sauce. It doesn’t matter what kind, but make about a cup more liquid than you might ordinarily use to cook the rice. If you would like to add cream or milk to replicate the cream of whatsis soup make sure to count it in the total volume of liquid. Any type of rice you have in the pantry can be used for this recipe. You will need to adjust the cooking time and the amount of liquid to suit the type of rice you plan to use.
- 1 pound thinly sliced pork chops
- ½ onion, diced
- 1 - 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 3 cups broth (keep a cup in reserve)
- 1 cup rice
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- olive oil
- optional: 1 cup other vegetables as desired
- Season the pork chops on both sides and brown in a little olive oil in a large dutch oven.
- Remove the browned chops to a plate and cover.
- Saute the onions, garlic, celery, carrots and mushrooms until the carrots soften, adding a little more olive oil if necessary.
- Sprinkle the flour over the veggies and stir well to combine. Cook for a couple minutes to allow the flour to cook.
- Add the broth a cup at a time, stirring well and allowing the contents to come to temperature before adding more. Season with salt, pepper and thyme. The sauce should be gravy like. (Leave some of the broth in reserve).
- Stir in the rice.
- Bring the contents to a nice bubble, then reduce the heat and put the lid on the dutch oven.
- Add any additional vegetables as the rice cooks. Stir well to combine and add the reserved broth as needed.
- Return the pork chops to the dutch oven along with any accumulated juices so they can finish cooking (the rice was almost ready when I added the thin ones we used). Just lay them on top of the rice. Replace the lid and allow the meat to cook through.
I actually prefer my stove top rice casserole without soup over the baked versions. I’ve made the soup-y ones before and there always seems to be some uncooked rice lurking beneath the meat or the meat gets horribly overcooked. When made on the stove, I can easily add more liquid if necessary or remove the meat as if it cooks faster than anticipated.