Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Best pork chop recipe EVEr

Sarah over at I Blame My Mother is hosting a cook through the Food network chefs blog party inspired by Julie and Julia. I thought it sounded fun, and a great way to try out new recipes.

This week we tried a recipe by Aaron McCargo Jr, Pork Chops with Madeira Sauce.

So, here goes:

Ingredients (with my comments added in parenthesis):
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil (I changed this out for sesame oil, I have sesame oil, grapeseed oil is not sold at Wal-Mart)
2 (1 1/2-inch) pork chops
Salt and coarsely ground black pepper
Madeira Sauce, recipe follows
tablespoons butter, divided
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 tablespoon minced garlic
5 to 6 cremini mushrooms, sliced (plain old button mushrooms presliced, because I butcher mushrooms when slicing them, you can get portobello mushroom at Wal-Mart, but not cremini, and my husband dislikes portobello)
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Madeira wine (not sold at Wal-Mart either, and I don't want to spend a long time searching for it with 3 pre-schoolers, my husband found it on his 2nd trip to the wine store)
1/4 cup beef broth
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves (picked a handful from the garden, I only successfully grow herbs)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves (used dried, I don't grow parsley)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, add the grapeseed oil. Allow the oil to smoke slightly. Season each pork chop with salt and pepper, to taste, and add to the pan. Sear on each side for 2 minutes. Once nicely browned on each side, transfer the chops to a sheet pan with a rack and bake in the oven for an additional 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the chops from the oven to a serving platter. Reserve the pan for the Madeira Sauce.

(I transferred the chops to a stoneware dish, and made the sauce while the chops finished baking, I thought otherwise it'd get too cold)

Making Sauce

In same skillet that the chops were seared, add 1 tablespoon of the butter, the shallots, garlic, and the mushrooms. Cook over medium-high heat until slightly caramelized. Add flour and mix to a paste. Add the Madeira wine and deglaze the pan. Lower the heat, add the beef broth and simmer for a few minutes. Remove from the heat and mix in the remaining butter and the fresh herbs. Once the butter has melted, pour the sauce over the pork chops and serve.

So the results: We LOVED it. I'd say this is one of those great dishes to make to impress your in-laws. It looks really fancy but isn't anywhere near as fancy as it seems.
One thing we did figure out is to double the sauce for next time, it's very flavorful and yummy, and we like sauce in our family.

Go to I Blame My Mother for more recipes. For next week I'm going to make pesto lasagna..... yum.
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