Thursday, April 9, 2009

Pork Chops with Leeks in Mustard Sauce

I thought I'd share another of my recent recipe discoveries, this one from the May issue of Bon Appetit. We love pork around here - more, really, than beef or chicken or fish. Emeril has always been absolutely right: pork fat rules! ;)

So when I saw an entire section devoted to pork recipes in the magazine this month, I was truly excited. This recipe immediately caught my eye, and I have to say it is, without a doubt, the most amazingly delicious pork recipe (and possibly one of the best recipes for any dish) I have ever put in my mouth.

If you haven't had any experience before with leeks, you really must give them a try. Their delicate onion flavor adds so much depth to any number of dishes, as is evidenced by the mustard-leek mixture here. Absolutely mouth-watering!

One tip when working with pork: don't overcook it. Americans tend to think pork has to be served well-done like chicken, but that really isn't the case. Cooked to medium with a slightly pink center is the preferred preparation in our household, but I know many folks like to eat their pork medium-rare. And I promise it's all completely safe. ;)

I will attach a link to the recipe on in addition to posting the complete recipe here. Enjoy!

Pork Chops with Leeks in Mustard Sauce

4 1 1/2- to 2-inch-thick bone-in heritage pork rib chops (our grocer didn't carry heritage pork, but conventional chops worked just fine)
2 teaspoons coarse kosher 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
1/4 cup brandy
1 cup low-salt chicken broth
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/3 cup crème 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 heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and sauté until crisp and lightly browned. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to small bowl. Increase heat to medium-high. Add chops to skillet. Sear until brown, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer chops to small baking sheet.

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

Nestle chops in leeks in skillet. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover; simmer 3 minutes. Turn chops over. Cover; simmer until thermometer inserted into thickest part of chops registers 140°F to 145°F, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer chops to platter. Tent loosely with foil to keep warm.

Spoon off any fat from cooking liquid in skillet. Boil until all liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Whisk in mustard, then crème fraîche; do not boil. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon over chops.

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