|Cote de Porc à la Charcutière|
(Pork Chops in a White Wine, Cornichon and Mustard Sauce)
I cannot believe I haven't posted anything on pork chops. I absolutely love them. When I do eat meat, which is probably twice a week, a chop is usually what I choose (unless what I need for this is on sale, or a little bit for that), so I have no idea what I was thinking. Maybe it's because I usually just throw a chop, with a bit pepper and paprika, into some onions on the stove, or cook one up and then reduce down some cream-based sauce with a little dijon mustard. Quick and dirty, really... although quite elegant despite how simple and fast these dishes are to come together.
This dish is a favorite as well. It's from Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook, a well-loved and often used reference of mine. This book is filled with amazing recipes and delicious photographs, but what makes it so much fun is that it genuinely convey's the vulgar, bawdy Tony we all know, and his dirty, foul-mouthed ways. It's so down to earth. I mean, I'm pretty sure you can call Tony down to earth. Who else (besides maybe Gordon Ramsay) is going to yell at you through the pages of a cookbook, screaming "Now pick up your spoon and scrape, you magnificent bastard!" or, ever so sweetly, "If you haven't made béarnaise from scratch before, you will surely @#*$ this sauce up. Don't worry. Just do it again". He definitely keeps it real.
Another good thing about these chops, besides the incredible taste of the end result, of course, is this is a one-dish meal that requires only a quick eight minute stint in the oven after sauteing on the stove. The preparation also goes by quickly. You probably already have most of these ingredients on hand (except the cornichons or baby gherkins, but you can always find them in the pickle section of your local grocery store, or for a very good price at Trader Joe's). This dish does not require much thought, comes together nicely and has that "You-shouldn't-have-slaved-over-the-stove-for-hours-for-little-ol'-me!" feel about it. They are juicy and perfectly heated through; there's nothing gray and over done or anemic looking about these chops. Served with the simple, yet substantial sauce, with the pleasant crunch of the chopped onions and cornichons, these pork chops are sure to become a favorite.
Cote de Porc à la Charcutière
(adapted from Anthony Bourdain's "Les Halles Cookbook")
*1 Tbsp oil
*1 Tbsp butter
*4 bone-in pork chops
*1 small onion, finely chopped
*1 tsp Wondra or all-purpose flour
*1/2 c. white wine
*1 c. strong, dark veal or chicken stock, or demi-glace*
*2 Tbsp. dijon mustard
*10 cornichons/baby gherkins, thinly sliced (and the rest can be used in this)
*1 sprig of flat parsley, roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 375º.
In an oven-safe saute pan, heat the oil and then the butter. Season the chops with salt and pepper and add to medium-hot pan. Sear for four minutes per side, or until golden brown. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for another eight minutes. Remove from oven and then set aside on a dish, loosely covered with foil.
Return the pan to the heat and add the chopped onions. Cook until golden brown. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for one minute. Stir in the wine and reduce by half, continuously scraping the bottom and sides of the pan. Add the stock and reduce the liquid by half. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the mustard. Add the chopped cornichons, the chopped parsley and any juice that has run off the cooked and set-aside pork chops. Adjust the seasoning as needed. Arrange the chops on a platter or in dishes and pour the sauce over each. Eat and enjoy.
*I use Earthy Delights "More Than Gourmet" demi-glace available here or at your local speciality food store (I get mine at my local Harris Teeter grocery story). One part demi-glace to four parts hot water, and mix until dissolved. Veal stock will work well, just make sure it is a very good, very bold and strong stock.