Friday, 26 September 2008

French-style pork chops with cream and mustard

It's been a bit of a crazy week in Bristol. The long-awaited £500 million shopping centre Cabot Circus has just opened with huge razmatazz. We went down for the opening of Harvey Nichols (a friend was doing the PR!) which bizarrely included a striptease by Dita Von Teese. There are apparently 25 (twenty five) restaurants in the new development. How will they possibly fill them all?

Easily if the crowds this week are anything to go by. Certainly in London restaurants are still heaving. I tried to get into two yesterday and they couldn't offer a table until after 2pm. I thought we were supposed to be in the middle of the worst recession since the Great Depression

Anyway, I digress. A recipe, and not before time. After the Harvey Nix bash we went round the corner to a brilliant new food shop and café in St Nicholas market called Taste@ St Nicks. I expected the prices to be food hall standard but they were surprisingly reasonable for the quality. They also supply restaurants in the West Country and sell to consumers at roughly the same price as they sell to chefs.

They had some fantastic pork chops (above) which reminded me we hadn't had this classic French bistro recipe, which comes from my student book Beyond Baked Beans Budget, for a while. Hope you enjoy it.

French-style pork chops with cream and mustard
Serves 2
1 tbsp vegetable, sunflower or olive oil
15g butter
2 medium-sized pork chops
125g chestnut or button mushrooms, rinsed and sliced
100ml dry white wine or vegetable stock made with 1/2 tsp vegetable bouillon
1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2-3 tbsp double cream or crème fraîche
Ground black pepper and lemon juice
Heat a medium sized frying pan and add the oil. When it’s hot add the butter, then lay the pork chops in the pan. Brown for about 2-3 minutes on each side, then turn the heat down and cook for a further 3 minutes or so each side depending how thick they are. Remove from the pan and set aside on a warm plate. Cook the mushrooms in the remaining oil and butter until lightly browned. Scoop them out and add to the pork. Pour in the wine or stock, add the thyme and bubble up until the liquid has reduced by about two thirds. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the cream or crème fraîche and mustard then warm through gently taking care not to let the sauce boil. Season with salt and plenty of black pepper (and a squeeze of lemon juice if you're using cream rather than crème fraîche). Return the chops and the mushrooms to the pan together with any juices, heat through for another couple of minutes then serve with boiled new potatoes or buttered tagliatelle and some green beans or broccoli, I suggest.


gairloch said...

Delicious and super easy - thanks

Anonymous said...

That's a lovely dish, but I was startled by the price shown in your photo, and curious enough to do the conversion to our U.S. equivalents. The 5.25 UK pounds per kilo works out to about $4.40 US per pound, which is about twice what I would expect to pay for nice pork chops in the Seattle area. (On sale I would pay $1.99; regular between $2.39 - $2.99). I've been feeling sorry for myself at the decline in the value of the dollar, but now I wonder if lower costs of living don't more than make up the difference.

Fiona Beckett said...

Hi anonymous. It's certainly possible to buy pork chops more cheaply in the UK but not of this kind of quality. However I do think the UK is probably more expensive than the US anyway.

Glad you and gairloch both like the recipe anyway ;-)

Anonymous said...

Cooked these and they were delicious and a nice change to how I normally do pork (rubbed with a bit of Chinese 5 spice and olive oil and then grilled). Thanks.

Catherine said...

Thanks....I was looking for a recipe for pork steaks as they are on offer at Morrisons now & I bought some creme fraiche & mushrooms to cook with them...this sounds perfect...brilliant!