Sunday, February 17, 2013

Pork Chops with Leeks and Mustard Sauce

One of the issues (I don't want to call it a problem..) with buying an entire pig from a farmer, like we do, is having to find multiple inventive uses for pork chops.  There's always the good old "pork chops in mushroom soup" fallback, but that gets tiresome fast.  So I've been testing a lot of different pork chop recipes.

This recipe makes use of a couple of fresh herbs, which may not be readily available in winter.  The herbs in question, though, are easily grown in northern gardens in the summer, so I kept this in the "boonies recipes" pile.

The original instructions call for letting the pork chops rest in the salt rub for an hour or more, but I find that this makes them far too salty for my taste.  I rub them down about 15 minutes before they go in the pan.

Pork Chops with Leeks and Mustard Sauce

(adapted from Epicurious)

  • 4 bone-in pork chops
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 bacon slices, coarsely chopped
  • Olive oil (optional)
  • 4 cups thinly sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only; about 3 large)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1.5 cups low-salt chicken broth (alternate - substitute 1/2 c of brandy or white wine for some of the broth)
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage (or 3/4 teaspoon dried sage)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup sour cream

  • Combine salt, thyme, rosemary and pepper in a small bowl.  Rub on both sides of chops at least 15 minutes (and up to an hour) before cooking.

    Cook bacon bits in a deep skillet over medium heat until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. 

    Raise heat to medium high and place pork chops in pan, searing both sides. Remove chops and set aside. 

    Pour off bacon grease until there are 3 tbsp left (or add olive oil until there are 3 tbsp of fat in the pan). Add leeks and saute until soft - about 7 minutes. Add garlic and stir for a minute. Add chicken broth (you can also add a bit of white wine or brandy at this point) and bring to a boil. Add cooked bacon and sage to skillet, then nestle the pork chops in the leeks. 

    Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until pork chops are cooked through, flipping the chops after a few minutes. 

    Remove pork chops and cover them to keep them warm.  Boil any remaining liquid off from the leeks, then add mustard and sour cream to skillet and stir to combine. Serve leek mixture over the pork chops.