The piquant sauce punch and extra flavor to this simple supper dish. Serve it with celeriac and potato mash and a green vegetable, such as as broccoli or cabbage.
4 Pork loin chops, at least 3/4 in thick generous pinch of brown sugar
2 tbsp plain (all purpose) flour 2 fresh bay leaves
3 tbsp olive oil 6 fresh thyme sprigs
2 Spanish (Bermuda) onions, slices 2 strips lemon rind
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1/2 cup double (heavy) cream
1 cup dry (hard) cider 2-3 whole grain mustard
2/3 cup chicken stock 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
salt and ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400°F . Trim the chops of excess fat. Season the flour with salt and pepper and use to coat the chops. Heat 2 tbs of the oil in a frying pan and brown the chops on both sides, then transfer them to an ovenproof dish.
- Add the remaining oil to the pan and cook the onions over a fairly gentle heat until they soften and begin to brown at the edges. Add garlic and cook for two minuets more.
- Stir in any leftover flour, then gradually stir in the cider and stock. Season well with salt and pepper and add brown sugar, bay leaves, thyme sprigs and lemon rind. Bring the sauce to the boil, stirring constantly, then pour over the chops.
- Cover and cook in the oven for 20 minuets. Reduce the heat to 350°F and continue cooking for another 30-40 minuets. Remove the foil for the last 10 minuets of the cooking time. Remove the chops from the dish and keep warm, covered with foil.
- Tip the remaining contents of the dish into a pan or, if the dish is flame proof, place it over a direct heat. Discard the herbs and lemon rind, then bring to a boil.
- Add the cream and continue to boil, stirring constantly. Taste for seasoning, adding a pinch more of sugar if necessary. Finally, stir in the mustard to taste and pour over the braised chops. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve immediately.
- For a less rich sauce, omit the cream and puree the sauce in a blender. Reheat, thinning with a little extra stock if necessary, then adjust the seasoning and add mustard to taste. This will produce a sharper tasting sauce that will need less mustard.
- If your prefer, you can use vegetable or pork stock instead of chicken.
- This recipe also work extremely well with veal chops.