Friday, March 29, 2019

Pork Chops with Leeks

This recipe seems to have been lurking in my recipe file for a decade now, but I don’t recall if I ever made it. But it pays to be prepared! The original recipe apparently came from Bon Appetit, but after reading it over I made one major change. Originally it included chopped bacon. Much as I love bacon, I thought that in this dish the flavor would overwhelm all the others, including the more delicate herbs. So I simply skipped the bacon. The result was fine without it.

(Note also that the original recipe called for four pork chops. I cut that to two, but kept the amounts for the sauce the same.)

Yes, Oliver the cat is helping
2 thick bone-in pork chops 
2 tsp kosher salt 
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme 
(And another note: it’s still winter in Massachusetts, and I didn’t have a lot of fresh herbs on hand. The recipe was fine made with dried herbs, but fresh herbs would be lovely too.)
1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary 
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper 
4 cups thinly sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only) 
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/4 cup Irish whiskey 
1 cup low-salt chicken broth 
2 tsp finely chopped fresh sage
2 Tblsp Dijon mustard 
1/3 cup créme fraîche or sour cream 


Pat chops dry with paper towels. Mix 2 teaspoons coarse salt, thyme, rosemary, and 1 teaspoon pepper in small bowl. Sprinkle seasoning mixture on both sides of chops. Let stand at room temperature 1 to 2 hours or wrap and chill up to 1 day. 

Heat a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Melt a combination of butter and olive oil in the pan, then add the chops to skillet. Sear them until brown, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer the chops to small baking sheet and keep warm.

Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of the pan drippings from the skillet (or add olive oil to make 3 tablespoons). Add the leeks and sauté until soft, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and stir 1 minute. Add whiskey, then the broth, and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Add the sage and stir to blend.

Nestle the chops in the leeks in the skillet. Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover and simmer 3 minutes. Turn the chops over. Cover; simmer until they are cooked through and springy to the touch (the original recipe said a meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of chops should register 140 to 145 degrees F, but I checked and they were well cooked about ten degrees lower in temperature). Transfer the chops to a platter. Cover loosely with foil to keep them warm while you prepare the sauce. 

Spoon off any fat from cooking liquid in the skillet (yes, you're still using the original pan). Boil until all liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Whisk in mustard, then crème fraîche (do not boil). Season with salt and pepper. To serve, spoon the sauce over the chops. 

Serve with whatever starch you like.

Coming in July! The second book in the Victorian Village series.

After fifteen years away, Kate Hamilton never expected to end up back in her hometown of Asheboro, Maryland full time. And she definitely didn’t expect to be leading the charge of recreating the town as a Victorian village and tourist attraction. But as unexpected as the circumstances are, Kate is ready to tackle them.
The town, on the other hand, is going to take some convincing. Ever since Henry Barton’s shovel factory closed down, it’s started to seem like there are more tumbleweeds than tourists rolling down Main Street. Kate’s ideas are good, but ambitious―and her friends and neighbors are worried that finding the money for them would push the town even further into debt.

Luckily, Kate and the handsome historian Joshua Wainwright are two very determined people who may have come up with a solution. The Barton mansion, meant to be the centerpiece of the Victorian village, has proven to be a veritable goldmine of documents about the town’s nineteenth-century history, and Kate is convinced the papers hide something of value. When a dead body turns up in the town library―mere hours before the documents were meant to arrive there themselves―Kate begins to worry that the papers spell danger instead of dollars. It seems that someone doesn’t want these forgotten secrets coming to light, and they’ll do whatever it takes to keep Kate quiet…

1 comment:

  1. This sounds delicious.
    I wonder if the "done at this temperature" is left over from when you had to cook pork to death for fear of trichinosis?