The trick to keeping the chops moist is to let them simmer/steam after you sear them. The longer you let them sear, the less likely your pork will look white and sad after simmering. They taste just as delicious and juicy, but somehow look in desperate need of a tan. So I always sear first, because I don't like geisha-esque pork chops.
Sear those bad boys!
In this recipe, I used three pork loin chops, because that what was on sale and what I had in the fridge. The sauce that I make, I adapted somewhat from Nigella Lawson but I've thickened it using a cornstarch technique I learned from reading Mastering the Art of French Cooking (yes, yes the Julie/Julia Book). Seriously, this cornstarch thing saved me, because I am awful at making thick gravies, which is a terrible, mortal shame when you live in the Midwest. My roux always burns or I add too much milk or I add too much flour and then too much milk, and then we have twenty gallons of lumpy, burnt, tasteless gravy. Do you get the sense that I try to overcompensate a little?
But I digress. This is a great stone-ground mustard cream sauce that I thicken with cornstarch. Nigella's recipe tosses the leftover sauce with gnocchi, but the sauce I make is really too thick to coat pasta or dumplings.
After I successfully made this for dinner, all my other anti-successes didn't seem so bad. I mean, it's only ten dollars worth of organic vanilla extract. (*Sob!*)
And the cake was still delicious. Hideous, like a cake made for The Elephant Man, but still delicious. (Look away!)
Pork Chops with Stone-Ground Mustard Cream
3-4 thick pork chops,with bone, patted dry with paper towels
2 TBSP Stone-ground mustard (Dijon probably would work as well)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup beef stock
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream, plus an additional 2 TBSP of cream mixed with 1 tsp of cornstarch
Pan spray or one pat of butter for searing
Salt & Pepper to taste
Large skillet with a lid
Heat a sprayed skillet to med-high (if you're using butter, you'll know it's ready after the butter foams but before it burns!)and sear the pork chops about 4-5 minutes on each side. When the chops are seared to your liking, add the beef stock to the pan (it should NOT cover the pork chops). Once the stock is boiling, cover the pan with lid and reduce heat to low. Cook for an additional 10-12 minutes, or until the chops are no longer pink in the middle. Remove chops to a plate and season with salt and pepper.
Raise the heat back up to med-high, add the vinegar (to deglaze)and boil the stock down, scraping bits of pork up from the pan.
Reduce heat again to simmer and add the 3/4 cup of whipping cream and mustard, stir slightly to mix together. Continue to simmer. When the cream sauce starts to bubble, add the cornstarch mixture and stir well to thicken.
Taste your mustard cream sauce, add more cream or mustard, if necessary. Spoon the cream sauce over pork chops and shrug off the rest of the crappy day. It has to get better tomorrow.
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