When I think of chops, I think of lamb. My favourite ones are those tiny spindly ones that you get in Greece that are just delicious with some home made tzatiki and a Greek salad. But occasionally I do have a pork chop and I am always surprised by how good they taste. Last week I got home from work to find out that those lovely people at M&S had sent over a goody hamper containing a chicken, some sausages and two fat Gloucester Spot chops. We had them last Tuesday night with a white wine, mustard and cream sauce from Nigel Slater’s The Kitchen Diaries. If you’ve not seen this, it is a lovely diary of what he eats from the beginning of the year to the end. Some days it is a proper meal like this, others a take out, others bread and cheese. It is reassuring to know that even proper cooks don’t “cook” every night and a good meal can be just as much about clever shopping than anything else.
It was from February 13, everything from May being just too summery. The rain is torrential as I write this btw.
It was easy and delicious and felt a bit special, especially when served with mini-roasties (whole new potatoes roasted with garlic, rosemary and olive oil) and savoy cabbage with butter and fennel seeds. One thing I did under-estimate is how long a pork chop – especially a fat one - takes to cook, around 25 minutes in my case. The richness of the double cream sauce is nicely undercut by throwing in a few cornichons at the end.
Pork chops with white wine, mustard and cream
Takes: About 30 mins - but mostly cooking time. Hardly any prep.
Two pork chops
Butter – 25 g
Olive oil – 1 tbsp
Garlic – 2 unpeeled cloves, squashed flat
Glass of white wine
Double or whipping cream – 150ml
Grain mustard – 1 ½ tbsp
Dijon mustard – 1 ½ tbsp
8 cornichons - chopped
Rub the chops all over with salt and pepper. Put butter and oil in shallow pan over a medium heat and when they start to froth add the garlic and chops. Leave to brown, turning once to brown the other side. Lower the heat and leave cooking, until they are no longer pink.
Take chops out and pour off most of the oil from the pan, leaving the sediment behind, turn up the heat and pour in the wine. Let it boil for a minute or two, scraping at the sediment and letting it dissolve. Pour in the cream, swirl about, leave to bubble up, before adding mustard and chopped cornichons. Season with salt and black pepper, if needed. Enough for two. Serve to children with the sauce on the side and tell them it’s gravy. Inexplicably my children will eat gravy, but not sauce, apart from ketchup obviously.