47 - Pork Chops with Mushrooms and Mustard Sauce

I first made these pork chops (at least a variant thereof) in the London basement kitchen of Melanie Anderson. It was--I believe the summer of 1989. London was our first stop on our six week European holiday. After buying pork chops and mushrooms in a little London shop, I made this dish.

I've used all cuts and sizes of pork chops--but this recipe will be for four--relatively thick - maybe an inch and a half thick - top loin boneless chops.

Heat olive oil in heavy saucepan. Dredge pork chops in flour with salt and pepper. When oil is hot--brown chops on all sides (if thick, stand them on their fatty sides to render some of the fat).

While they're browning--squeeze juice of one lemon or lime (or two if you're not getting much juice) into a bowl with three or four crushed garlic cloves and two tablespoons of Dijon mustard. Mix. Put browned chops into bowl, coat them with the mixture (there won't be a lot of liquid)--and marinate.

Add 1/2 cup wine to the pan--maybe a little more--bring to a boil--stirring to get all the browned bits into the sauce. When wine is boiled down (if it completely disappears you might want to add a bit more olive oil) add 2 cups chopped onions--cover and cook until melted--they don't have to brown.

You can then add a tablespoon or so of butter. When butter melts, add 1 cup sliced mushrooms. When mushrooms are nicely browned, return pork chops to pan, adding more wine or water if there is not enough liquid. Cook for about 20 minutes. (Rules for cooking pork have changed--you used to have to cook it forever--now you don't--I tested mine after maybe fifteen minutes--sliced in the middle--there was no pink--so--done, I say). At this point, you could add roasted tomatoes if you have them. They will add complexity and deliciousness. You could also add capers. Much room for play and improvisation.

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