Combine 1/2 cup flour, salt, and pepper; dredge chops in flour mixture. Heat lard in a large skillet; add chops, and brown on both sides over medium heat. Remove chops from skillet; drain on paper towels. Reserve pan drippings in skillet.
Sauté onion and garlic in pan drippings until tender. Add celery, and cook over medium heat 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add remaining flour, stirring until well blended. Cook an additional 3 minutes.
Return chops to skillet, and add water. Stir in parsley, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 30 minutes. Uncover and simmer an additional 30 minutes or until chops are tender.
Remove and discard bay leaf. Transfer chops to serving plates, and spoon pan gravy over each.