BuffaloSpree.com's Recipe of the week: Pork Chops with Sherry Mushroom Sauce
M y family really enjoys pork, particularly chops. I prefer to buy my pork directly from a local farmer when I can; my favorite is the heritage breed, pasture-raised pork from Rich Tilyou of Lockport's T-Meadow Farm. The flavor of the meat is fantastic and I can feel good about feeding my family meat that I know came from an animal that lived a marvelous life. it is also good to know that my purchase is contributing to the reemergence of heritage-breed livestock.
This recipe is as simple as can be and tastes great on most pork cuts, chicken and even beef. For a short cooking time, I've used boneless chops here, but bone-in chops always have more flavor, so use whichever you prefer. The ingredients are mostly pantry items, so it's a good option towards the end of the week when I need to get to the store and don't have a refrigerator chock-full of fresh produce.
One of the many things that I think separates restaurant cooking from home cooking is the use of shallots. American homecooks rely heavily on yellow or sweet onions as a fundamental flavor foundation in recipes, and while there is definitely a place for standard issue onions in everyone's pantry, the use of shallots provides a more delicate and perfumed onion flavor to dishes. They are really ideal for sauces preparations, like the one below.
Gentle seasoning throughout the preparation of this simple recipe is imperative, don't wait until the very end of the cooking process to add these important ingredients. Over seasoning is always a concern, so careful seasoning at each step with a final check of the salt and pepper ratio at the end is the best method.
I like to serve this dish with brown rice and a steamed green veggie.
Pork with Sherry Mushroom Sauce
4 boneless pork chops
2 shallots, finely chopped
8 oz sliced mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup sherry
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
In a heavy saute pan, melt 1/2 the butter over medium-high heat. Season the pork with salt and pepper and add it to the hot pan. Sear quickly on high heat for about two minutes. Turn and brown the other side, cooking for an additional 4-6 minutes. Remove the pork to a plate and set it aside. Melt the remaining butter in the pan and add the shallots. Let them brown for 1 minute until they are fragrant, and then add the mushrooms. Cook them for about 3 minutes until they start to brown, season them with salt and pepper and then add the sherry and mustard to the pan and stir. After a minute, return the cooked pork chops and their juices to the pan. Continue cooking for 3-5 more minutes. Check seasoning, adding slat and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
*Pork cutlets and tenderloin can work well with this sauce, too. Using chops with the bone will increase the cooing time. Use a thermometer to check for doneness.