Berkshire Pork Chops
Berkshire is an heritage breed pig known for its high quality meat and it is considered to be the wagyu of the pork world. Other varieties such as Duroc and Iberico are excellent choices too. Most pork cuts can be purchased online or at your local bucher shops or other meat suppliers.
Charcutière sauce is a finishing savory glaze that originated in France and is made up of chopped onions, white wine, mustard and chopped cornichons. It is then simmered in a basic veal demi-glace. An ideal sauce for pork.
In a small jar, to rehydrate peppercorns soak in brandy and keep refrigerated almost indefinitely. Use for steak aux poivre recipe and many other applications. Before using, drain what you need and crush. Lightly toast or flambé with more brandy if desired. Green peppercorns can also be rehydrated using any liquid for at least twenty minutes.
Heat up a large frying pan. Meanwhile, pat dry meat and season with salt on both sides. Put a drizzle of oil in the hot pan and sear meat 3 minutes on each side. Transfer meat to a plate to relax. The pork is not cooked yet – it will be finished later. Save brown bits left in the pan for the charcutière sauce. Indeed, onions, shallots and butter can be cooked directly on that pan or manage to add bits later on in the sauce. Pork chops can also be popped in the oven right after being seared...
*Veal demi-glace can be subbed for a reduced low-sodium beef stock (reduce 1500g stock to 500g). In a saucier, gently cook the onions and shallots in the butter until soft without coloring ≈10 min. Throw in one bay leaf and a little rosemary or thyme sprig. Add the white wine and reduce by two thirds. Add rendered juice from the seared pork chops and carrot tip scraps. Add the demi-glace and let it simmer for 30 minutes or so. Strain the sauce through a sieve and pass (press down solids). Add the crushed and toasted green peppercorns. Make a slurry by mixing red wine with starch in a small jar. Swirl in to the sauce and bring to a boil. Mix sugar and lemon juice. Off the heat, add mustard and the lemon-sugar mixture. Julienned cornichons can be added straight to the finished sauce or use as a garnishing.
Carottes à la Vichy is a delicious and versatile side dish. Peel, trim a wash carrots and cut in half lengthwise.
In a frying pan or saucier, arrange carrots and add with sparkling, carrot juice (optional), sugar, salt and butter. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 10 min. Remove the lid and continue to cook until fork tender. At the end cooking, the liquid should be completely evaporated and the carrots glazed. Add parsley – keep warm.
An excellent side dish that pairs with pretty much any meat and fish!
In a saucepan, cover potatoes with water and add a dash of salt. Bring to boil and cook on low heat until fork tender. Depending on the size, it should take 25 min. Do not overcook!. Drain – let cool 5 minutes and peel. Just about 20 minutes before serving, quarter cooked potatoes and heat them up in butter and olive oil – add parsley. Keep warm.
Preheat oven to 425ºF/220ºC. Pop meat in the oven and finish cooking for 10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 150ºF/65ºC for medium. Let meat to rest on cutting board before slicing for about 10 minutes. Letting meats rest helps to retain their juices. Save juice that came out of the pork chops while resting and add it to the potatoes or sauce.
Arrange 3 hot carrot halves a la Vichy on the center of each hot plate. Top with a few potatoes and the sliced pork chop. Top with hot charcutière sauce. Garnish with rosemary sprig. Enjoy!