Updated: May 6, 2021
Côte de porc a la charcutière (loosely translated: pork chops with sauce) is a French recipe that elevates the pork chop to a status that starts to rival beef in my kitchen. This is an excellent recipe that is simple to make and will help you master the art of making a sauce.
I never thought any meat could rival beef in my kitchen. I was raised on all the meats; beef, chicken, pork, fish, etc, and so on. My Grans mastered them all and all were delicious. Personally, I mostly loved beef dishes and all else was just something to eat in the meantime. What I've learned though, is these other meats can rise to the occasion if cooked properly. Beef doesn't really need 'help', it tastes great on its own. It is simple to cook because you don't need to do a lot to it. A great example of what I am trying to express is, take the lamb for instance. Aside from the obvious reasons you may not want to try it (being a young sheep), many people don't like the taste of it. That's because lamb needs 'help' and most people don't cook it properly. When you consider that and cook it right, it is fabulous!
Let's talk pork
"Boring ole pork chops again?"
In my part of the world, pork chops are mainly cooked for breakfast. Most folks just toss them into the skillet and onto a plate with some eggs. Supper time usually means coating them with flour first and making a gravy. It doesn't get more boring and uneventful than that. What if I showed you how to make a sauce and you could cook up those chops in such a way that made your tongue slap your brains out? Wouldn't you want to try it? Don't let the idea of making a sauce deter you, it truly is simple and will change the way you think about cooking and eating. You'll have this dish ready in roughly about an hour. You can make any side item you want to go with it. I found this dish goes great with asparagus and I'll show you a quick, easy, delicious method. You may also want to make some herbed potatoes and have some bread, I'll leave that up to you.
Kitchen tools you'll need:
Skillet for the pork - One that can be placed in an oven. Preferably, cast iron or stainless steel. A good-sized skillet - medium to large.
Large non-stick skillet for the asparagus
Spoons and a fork - (teaspoon & tablespoon)
4 rib chops of pork - I like the thick chops but my local store didn't have any at the time and the butcher was away from his post. I grabbed some thick ribs and they work just fine. I had a pack of six and stored two in the freezer for later.
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion
Salt, pepper, and garlic salt
5 tbs of butter
1 tsp flour
1 cup of chicken (or veal) stock - I get the low sodium
2 tbs dijon mustard
1/2 cup of white wine - you can use cooking wine if you want. I hardly ever drink, nor do I know a lot about pairing wines. When a recipe calls for wine, I choose a wine I like and have a glass with my meal, and naturally, it pairs well with the meal. In this case, I chose Sweet Mountain Laurel by Chateau Morrisette. This is my favorite white wine, it has a flavor of concord grapes.
Let's get started
Preheat your oven to 375 F degrees. In your oven-safe skillet, heat 1 tbs of oil and 1 tbs of butter on the stove eye on medium-high heat. While that heats, season your chops with salt and pepper. Place the chops in the skillet about an inch apart so as not to crowd your meat. Sear the chops for 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Transfer your pan to the oven and cook for 8 minutes.
While they are in the oven, wash the asparagus and clip off the bottoms. Place them in your non-stick skillet with a tbs of oil and about 4 tbs of butter. Let them simmer on low-medium heat and sprinkle with a little garlic salt. They don't take long to cook so just keep an eye on them and turn them a little.
Cut them down to low when they get close to done to keep them warm. As you wait for the chops, finely chop the onion and measure the wine. Remove the chops from the oven and place the chops in the casserole dish and cover with foil. Place the skillet on the stove eye with medium-high heat leaving all the juice and tasty bits in there and add the onion. Cook until golden brown.
Add the flour and cook and stir for about 1 minute. Stir in the wine and reduce by half while you scrape, scrape, and scrape. Now stir in the stock and reduce by half. Remove the skillet from the eye and whisk in the dijon mustard. Also, pour in the juice from the casserole dish that the chops have released while resting. Now all you have to do is pour this delicious mixture over the chops in the casserole dish and you are good to go.
You won't believe how amazing this is! Grab a plate and dig in!
Once I learned the art of making a simple sauce, it has altered my approach to cooking. I used to be intimidated by some recipes. They seemed complicated and I was lost with it all. It wasn't until I was dining at a restaurant a long time ago and had a heavenly steak cooked with a demi-glace that I decided there and then, whatever it took, I would re-create this voodoo for myself. Not once have I regretted that decision. I admit, I still have a long way to go when it comes to presentation. That doesn't deter me though, I am more interested that the flavors and smells are there than I am in the appearance. It's the ability to cook and eat like this that leaves me with no desire at all for processed food.
Give this recipe a try so you can begin to enjoy pork chops that aren't so boring. Amaze yourself and your loved ones. Thanks for reading and have a blessed day.