Look at those fine dining thyme sprigs... I could have been on Master Chef, me.
Originally uploaded by Manne.
My lunch today was supposed to be the hearty butternut squash soup from last night. However, I was sneakily dragged away to a celebration of the burger at Camel + Artichoke on Lower Marsh. Who wants soup when you can have a burger in a fantastic bun, all slobbered with roof-of-mouth-zinging chilli con carne and cheddar mature enough to vote in the next general election.
Forgot all about soup. Still sitting in the office fridge. Shame.
Back from lunch W told me she had some pork chops she needed to use, so googled for some recipes and came across Delia's "best pork chop recipe she's ever done", so I figured that should do the trick. Having eaten not just white bread, but chips as well (oh, the sugar!) for lunch I figured cauliflower mash would be the perfect companion to get back on the low carb bandwagon.
Turned out I was right. And I don't think Delia exaggerated at all. Thanks to baking it in a sealed package in the oven, swimming in creme fraiche and mushroom juices, the pork chops come out amazingly moist and succulent. Fall of the bone pork, served with a creamy mushroom sauce... Can't go wrong, really. This definitely surpasses my previous favourite pork chop recipe.
Don't skimp on the lemon, it adds a crucial fresh acidity to this dish.
Ingredients for 2 (excluding cauliflower mash)
2 large pork chops
5 grams dried porcini mushrooms, soaked and finely chopped
200 grams crimini mushrooms, roughly chopped
fresh lemon thyme, chopped
1 large lemon, juice of
1 tbsp white flour
butter for frying
salt and pepper for seasoning
Put some water to boil in your kettle, soak the dried porcini mushrooms for 20 minutes. Once soaked, drain liquid and squeeze out the juices, don't forget to chop these finely later before you add them to the frying pan.
Start your oven, set it to 180 degrees Celsius.
Fry the pork chops with a good knob of butter, browning them nicely on each side, season with salt and pepper. Remove from frying pan and place on a large sheet of tin foil in a roasting dish. Sprinkle the chops with the thyme.
(I actually used two sheets of foil slightly overlapping, the general idea here is to create a sealed package to put in the oven once you have placed the topping on the chops.)
Add some more butter to the frying pan and fry the crimini mushrooms. When you see the juices starting to come, add in the chopped porcini and the lemon juice. Simmer for about a minute, then sprinkle with the flour and stir well.
For some reason Delia here points out not to worry what it looks like... Not sure what she means as I thought it looked absolutely yummy.
The flour will soak up all the fat and juices, stir all the time and be careful not to burn the mix. Once all is blended well together, spoon mushroom mix on top of chops.
Using a tablespoon, place a generous dollop of creme fraiche on top of each chop. Then fold up a "tent" of the foil, sealing the package completely while leaving space for the chop topping to not get squashed. Place in the oven and bake for an hour.
Once baked, plate up and serve. This goes remarkably well with my favourite cauliflower mash, but since the chops and sauce by themselves are very rich you could serve it with just some steamed asparagus or some broccoli and cherry tomatoes. Make sure to spoon the creamy juices from the foil package over the veg...