Do you know, I’ve never been in Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day? So I can’t say whether the towns actually celebrate it (apart from Dublin, where the tourists are), or if it’s just another day, and it’s only the exiles who have made a big thing of it, with parades and turning a river green and the like. I'll be checking in with "my" pub to see how they handle things.
|Cows in an Irish meadow (they're everywhere)|
The pork? Well, back when people there were just scraping by with their small dairy herd and their potato hills, they kept a pig to sell for cash, which was hard to come by. There’s now a large piggery up the hill from where my grandfather was born (and a lot of empty houses around it, because a piggery is rather aromatic).
Saint Patrick's Day Pork Chops with Honey Whiskey Green Peppercorn Sauce(Inspired by The New Irish Table by Margaret Johnson)
[Note: This recipe serves four. Since there are only two of us at home, I cut it in half, which is what you see in the pictures.]
4 pork chops (abt 1/2 lb each)
|Forgive the mess: I'm doing a bit of|
spring cleaning in my pantry closet
Oil for cooking
3/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into
1 Tblsp green peppercorns (preserved in liquid)
1/2 cup Irish whiskey
1/2 cup honey
Pat the pork chops dry, and season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet and saute the chops. Remove them while they=re still a bit springy (they will continue to cook from their own heat). Place on a plate and cover, then keep warm while you prepare the sauce.
[Note: a lot of recipes call for cooking liquid to reduce it by some percentage. I can=t just eyeball that, and every pan is different anyway. The bottom line is, cook until the liquid thickens a bit. Use the time estimate if you want.]
|Wine in the pan (if this was French, it would|
be called deglazing)
Add the chicken stock and cook for another 4-5 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by one-third.
Add the cream and cook for another 4-5 minutes, or until reduced again by one-third.
|All liquids in the pan|
Whisk in the butter, one piece at a time, and cook for 2-3 minutes or until thickened.
Stir in 2 Tblsp of the whiskey and 2 Tblsp of the honey, and cook for 3-5 minutes until smooth. Taste it and add more of either or both if you want. Ditto with the salt and pepper.
|The finished sauce|