Recipe #3 for me from Simple by Diana Henry, the cookbook of the month in Facebook’s Food52 Cookbook Club, was Pork Chops with Mustard and Capers.
This was another winner. Simple to make, a minimum number of ingredients and none of them so fancy or ethnic that they required me to go to more than one store. Although the photo in the book exaggerated the number of capers used, I’ve made a note to add more the next time I make this. So far, that’s twice, just like the Huervos Rotos recipe.
Making this dish reminded me that I figured I knew what capers are and prompted me to look online to find out if I was right. I had thought that they were the fruit of a nasturtium plant but no. They are the flower buds from the Capparis spinosa bush which are dried, then pickled and bottled so I can use them in salads and anything piccata and in this recipe.
Get the pork chops and season them.
Heat the oil in the fry pan and start cooking those chops.
While the meat is cooking, measure the mustard and capers.
No Vermouth here today, so white wine is substituting.
One side nicely browned. Flip the pork chops over.
Now the other side is browned too.
Afer 10 minutes in the oven, the fat is pored off and de-glazing begins. Pour in the wine and scrape all the flavourful bits off the pan.
Boil and stir the wine until the liquid has reduced by half.
Add the cream and contine to stir and cook…
…until the back of a spoon is coated.
Off the heat, add the mustard and capers.
Make an attempt at photographing the pan like the cover of the British version of the book. Wonder how tall other photographers are.
Quit goofing around and serve the delicious Pork Chops with Mustard and Capers.
You too can cook along. Here’s the recipe:
Pork Chops with Mustard and Capers
A classic, but none the worse for that. I love the way the richness of the cream is cut by the capers.
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
4 pork chops, 225–250g (8–9oz) each
275ml (9½ fl oz) dry Vermouth
250g (9oz) double cream
1-1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tbsp capers, well rinsed of salt or brine
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.
Heat the oil in a large ovenproof frying pan (or two smaller pans) over a high heat. Season the chops all over and cook them for two minutes on each side; you want them good and golden. Now brown the fat, too. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 12 minutes.
Wearing good oven gloves and being careful of the hot pan handle, pour the fat out of the pan; put the chops on a warm plate and cover to keep warm. Add the Vermouth to the pan. Bring to the boil and reduce by half, stirring to pick up all the browned savoury bits on the pan, then pour in the cream. Boil until the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Take it off the heat, whisk in the mustard and add the capers. Taste: it’s a strong sauce but it works well with the pork.
Serve the chops with the sauce spooned over the top.