I am currently reading the book Julie and Julia by Julie Powell. Having seen the movie, starring Amy Adams and Meryl Streep, a million times I bought the book yesterday in Waterstone's in Putney on a whim. I think the staff in Waterstone's think I'm a little odd because the majority of books I buy are either travel writing, recipe books, food writers or historical novels. What makes you think I like to read about places I would love to go, food I can only dream of eating and don't have time to make or silly comical Regency romances which make me giggle like a school girl? This morning while sitting on the train squashed in between two business men, one on their laptop and the other reading the newspaper, I sat chuckling to myself whilst reading my book. I got a number of strange looks.
Strangely enough I cooked Julia Child's Caneton a l'Orange (Duck with Orange Sauce) on Sunday this last weekend which got the creative juices flowing. I couldn't help myself Waitrose had a special on 2 KG Gressingham whole ducks for £8.00. A bargain. Reading Julie Powell's book this week and then watching the movie this evening made me realise that I have been slack of late. I have made some fantastic meals, I even conquered my fear of baking and made a Hot Cross Bun loaf for Easter which was turned into a bread and butter pudding. I have had some glorious wines and I have written about none of it. Shocking I know! I am so sorry. In Amy Adam's words; "The reason I don't finish anything is because I had ADD... It's why I am so bad at house work."
So tonight I have some beautiful double pork chops which are going to be turned into Julia Child's Cótes de Porcs Sauce Nénettes; Pork Chops with Mustard, Cream and Tomato Sauce. I cannot wait!
6 Pork Chops
3-4 Tbsp lard or cooking oil
2 Tbsp Butter
2 Cloves Garlic finely chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1/4 tsp Maldon sea salt
A pinch of pepper
1 Tbsp dry English Mustard Powder
2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
2 Tbsp fresh chopped parsely or basil
Dry the pork chops on paper towels. Season with salt, pepper and sage. Heat the fat or the oil in the casserole until it is moderately hot, then brown the chops, 2 or 3 at a time, on each side for 3 to 4 minutes. As they are browned, transfer them to a side dish.
Pour the fat out of the casserole and add the butter and garlic. Return the chops, overlapping them slightly. Baste them with the butter. Cover and heat the casserole until the meat is sizzling, then place in the lower third of a preheated to 160 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Turn and baste the chops once or twice. They are done when the juices run clear.
I do like my pork chops medium with a light rose tint, so i only cook mine for 20-25 minutes, but feel free to cook them through to well done.
Arrange the chops on a hot platter. The chops will have rendered about 1/2 cup of juices during their cooking; remove all but 2 tablespoons of fat from them. Pour in the 1/2 cup of white wine and boil rapidly. scraping up all the marmite-y goodness from the bottom of the casserole, until you have about 1/2 a cup of concentrated sauce.
While the chops are cooking according to the above directions, prepare the following:
Simmer the cream, salt and pepper in a small saucepan for 8-10 minutes, or until it has reduced to 1 cup. Beat the mustard and tomato paste together in a small bowl, then beat into the hot cream. Set aside.
After removing the chops from the casserole and deglazing the meat juices, pour in the cream mixture and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Correct seasoning, stir in the parsley or basil and pour the sauce over the chops.
Serve with your choice of vegetables, I am serving mine with new season asparagus, new potatoes with garlic butter and braised cabbage.
I'd love to hear about your experiences with Julia Child and Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Drop me a line and let me know.
Good food is very often, even most often, simple food. - Anthony Bourdain