For a good 15 years of my adult life I was a vegetarian. I did eat fish and poultry occasionally but I never ate red meat. It wasn't until my daughter was about two and she got a taste of a hamburger.
She asked, "What this?"
"Meat?... more meat."
And that is when I realized that an occasional helping of beef and other meats in my family's diet was something I would consider. I was the same way as my daughter when I was a kid. My mother said I never had a teething ring, instead I cut my teeth on pork and lamb chops.
|Me teething on a pork chop.|
Because my family is from a Southern Italian background pork and chicken were really the only meats we ate. Southern Italians don't do beef, a little in their meatballs and an occasion steak pizzaiola (my recipe). Veal was definitely a special occasion meat and much preferred over steak. Veal Marsala is one of my favorite classic Italian dishes, but ever since I've decided to take more responsibly for what I eat I have not eaten veal. I buy only hormone free and free range meat and I have yet to find a source for humanely raised veal. I know that most of Europe is now requiring veal calves to be free range, but this is not the case in the US, so I went with pork chops for this dish.
I really found Dorie's technique for this dish overly complicated without reason. She said to coat the the chops with the oil and herbs and then also to put oil in the pan. She also said to saute the rosemary and garlic in the cooking oil and then remove them. If the herb flavor is in the butter why risk burning them while cooking the meat?
Well, the dish that I came up with was a hit, but I still feel that a meat centered meal is too rich for me... of course I had to pair the pork chops with my mashed potatoes and Dorie's excellent Lemon Steamed Spinach... I won't say how many sticks of butter where sacrificed to make this meal... definitely a special occasion treat. I might make it for Easter dinner!
Pork Chops with Herb Butter
by Diane Balch
Inspired by Dorie Greenspan's Veal Chops with Rosemary Butter from Around my French Table
4 bone in pork chops
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons of dry white wine
3 tablespoons of chicken broth
1 minced clove of garlic
3 tablespoons of soften butter
1 teaspoon of fresh minced rosemary or any other fresh herbs that you have.
1 teaspoon of another herb I used thyme.
a pinch of salt
1) Mix butter and herbs with a pinch of salt together with your hands. Form them into a log and put it in the refrigerator.
2) Heat on medium high heat a large cast iron skillet with 1 tablespoon of oil in it.
3) While skillet is heating salt and pepper both sides of your pork chops.
4) When a drop of water on the skillet really splatters and dances then put the chops in the skillet. Do not move them. (I was only able to fit 2 chops at a time, you don't want to crowd them in the pan.)
5) Cook chop for 3 minutes on each side covered with a lid. Check that the temperature at the center of the chop is 145 degrees before you remove it from the pan. Loosely cover the chops with tin foil while you cook the remaining pieces. note: I had to turn down the heat on my stove and cook the chops for only about 2 minute per side for my second batch because the skillet had gotten so hot. Add another tablespoon of oil into the skillet and make sure it is hot before you cook the rest of your chops.
6) When you have finished cooking the chops and have them all under some foil. De-glaze the pan with the wine. Scrap any brown pieces off with a metal spatula. When you have scrapped the pan well add the chicken broth and the garlic. Reduce them for about 1 minute or until the sauce slightly thickens. Do not brown the garlic. Pour this reduction over the pork chops.
7) Serve pork chops with a thin pat of herbed butter on top of each chop and a side of mashed potatoes and your favorite green vegetable.
Hey, Dorista's you are invited to join my new linky party. Cook a recipe of your choice from the chosen country and explore the world with us. Oct 8TH: POLAND
Add your email to our list and I will remind you a week before the party and on the day of the party so you won't forget to link up.
Note: As a member of French Friday's with Dorie I am not allowed to print the recipe. I invite you to take a look at this wonderful cookbook "Around My French Table" if you are interested in this or any other recipe I review.
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