Pardew hails 'special' win over Chelsea
Substitute Papiss Cisse's double was the difference as the hosts inflicted a first defeat on Jose Mourinho's team in 24 matches.
Didier Drogba was able to pull a goal back in the final 10 minutes after Steven Taylor had been sent off, but Newcastle hung on with debutant goalkeeper Jak Alnwick making several late saves having come on at half-time for the injured Rob Elliot.
"That wasn't about substitutions," Pardew told BT Sport. "It was about character and discipline against the best team in Europe at the moment.
"At the start we stood off them, but we stuck at it and were always a threat.
"For us it's a special day and it's special day for Jak.
"At the end there were chances where we had two players blocking it. It was a real team effort.
"We're in it together, we had a tactical plan and it worked quite well. I am absolutely delighted for our fans, and it makes it more interesting for everyone else.
"They had chances, but you have to ride your luck. They'll take some stopping but today was our day."
Newcastle's triumph sees Mourinho's winless run in the league at St James' Park continue, with Manchester City now able to cut the gap at the top to six points when they host Everton.