Friday, 8 November 2013

Pork, Thyme, Mustard & Mushrooms with Lemony Beans & Hasselback Potatoes

I feel terrible but I can’t remember at all where the inspiration came from for the pork chops - so if anyone recognises this as an adaptation of one of their own, I do apologise.

What I do remember is that I used quark but in hindsight - and what I would suggest - would be to use double cream or even creme fraiche.

This is very simple really for what comes out as a visually pleasing and utterly delicious main. Definitely fit for a dinner party. Just do the shallots slowly at the back of the hob while you do the chops, or do them in advance if you like.

The potatoes are simply put, amazing: tender slices of potatoey buttery goodness with a delicious crisp bottom. They are definitely my new favourite way of doing the humble spud and once you get into the groove of the slicing method (which is excellent and comes courtesy of Nigella), really a piece of.. um, really easy to prepare!

The beans are also inspired by Nigella and a way of cooking them that I turn to often.

Pork in a Creamy Mustard Thyme Sauce with Mushrooms and Caramelized Shallots
serves 2

2 pork loin chops
olive oil
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
large handful mushrooms (I used a mix of organic brown button & forestiere)
1 shallot, thinly sliced & slowly caramelised in a little oil & a pinch of sugar
½ tsp soft brown sugar
100 ml chicken stock
1 tbsp grain mustard
2 tbsp quark (or double cream)
a few sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked + couple extra sprigs to finish

Season the chops all over with salt and pepper and then brown them in heavy based sauté pan over a medium/high heat with a splash of olive oil.

Remove the chops and set aside on a plate.

Add another splash of oil to the pan and turn up the heat then sauté the mushrooms: again, set aside when tender.

Add enough chicken stock enough to cover the bottom of the pan and let it bubble to deglaze.

Remove from the heat and then add the grain mustard, the thyme leaves and Quark. Stir constantly until the quark has incorporated back into the sauce then put back onto a low heat and place the chops back in along with the mushrooms and simmer until the meat is cooked through.

Serve garnished with the caramelized shallots and sprigs of thyme.

Hasselback Potatoes 
serves 2

12 fairly small (but not tiny) new or salad potatoes
15 grams butter
1 tbsp olive oil
Halen Mon salt

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Put each potato, in turn, in the bowl of a wooden spoon and cut across with a very sharp knife at about 3mm intervals.

Once prepared, put the baking tin on the hob with the butter and oil and heat up until the butter is bubbling. Add the potatoes turning them well, putting them in upside down (ie, cut side down) first, then the right side up, and spoon the fat over them.

Sprinkle each potato well with salt and put in the oven to cook for about 40 minutes.

Serve immediately.

Lemony beans
serves 2

200g fine green beans, topped & tailed
15 grams unsalted butter
a splash (barely) of olive oil
½ lemon, juiced
sea salt
freshly ground white pepper

Cook the beans in a big pot of salted boiling water for about 6 minutes until they are al dente.

Drain and then put back on the hob over a low heat with the butter, olive oil and lemon juice.

Stir around to coat the beans in the lemony butter then add lots of freshly ground white pepper and a little salt to taste.

Serve immediately.

1 comment:

  1. Ooh looks delicious! I've never had hassleback potatoes, need to rectify that!