Simple pleasures

Pork Chops with Mustard and Cream

We don’t often eat pork chops in my house. We’ve had the fear put into us by my mother-in-law that we will have a terrible night’s sleep if we eat pork in the evening. Also, I’ve possibly been put off it by years of having to endure eating grey, leathery shoe-sole tasteless meat disguising itself as food. You’d think it was still wartime the way some people still cook it.

Make sure you but good quality pork, from well looked after pigs. That’s a good place to start. And don’t be scared of it being a little pink in the middle. That way, it will be juicy, tender and flavoursome and will, with hope, overcome bad memories of the school lunch hall, chewing interminably and trying to move ‘food’ around the plate to make it look as though you’ve polished most of it off and are bloody well grateful, boy. I didn’t fight in the trenches surviving on tinned pilchards for you to etc etc.

Today’s recipe is simple and very quick to make. Pork, creamy mushrooms and mustard is a classic combination and while it may seem to be a little old-fashioned, there’s nothing wrong with that; delicious is delicious. The sesame broccoli brings it out of the aspidistra lined 1970’s suburbs a little, just don’t boil the veg. for four hours.

Ingredients for four people
4 good thick pork chops
A few handfuls of button of chestnut mushrooms, sliced
1/2 a red onion, finely sliced
2 sprigs of rosemary
A few large sage leaves
300ml double cream
1-2tbsp wholegrain mustard (I like Moutarde de Meaux, very tasty and has no sugar or other nonsense)
Olive oil for frying
Salt and pepper to season
Enough broccoli for four people, stems too
1tbsp sesame oil
1tbsp sesame seeds, toasted if you like

While heating a cast iron skillet for the meat, gently soften the onion in a sauté pan in the olive oil until translucent then add the herbs and mushrooms.
Season well and cook until the mushrooms are colouring. Add the cream and stir in the mustard. Cook for a few minutes until the cream thickens. Loosen with a little water if it gets too thick. Taste and adjust the seasoning and mustard.

Cook the pork chops on a high heat for a few minutes on each side until golden and the fat is rendering and crisping. Hold it down on its fatty edge to achieve this. Leave it to rest and boil the broccoli for about four minutes. I slice the stems and throw them in a minute before the florets. Drain very well, water really gets stuck in all those buds and drizzle over the sesame seeds and oil.

Serve the pork with the sauce and broccoli.

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