A totally Irish midweek supper: Pork chops with wild mushrooms and cider cream
Kitchen Cabinet: Use local, top-quality ingredients, says Longueville House’s head chef
Good quality, free-range pork chops are a delicious and easy mid-week supper
It has never been more important to support local producers. The brilliant neighbourfood.ie initiative continues to be a vital resource, making sure households all over Ireland can source fresh, local produce from small, hard-working producers.
I pick up my weekly order from Ballymaloe Cookery School in east Cork, which has diversified brilliantly during these pressing times, and also has lots of excellent organic produce available to buy.
Good quality, free-range pork chops are a delicious and easy midweek supper. Cooked correctly, they are tender and have a delicate flavour. The three key ingredients in this recipe have all been sourced from producers who are taking part in the neighbourfood scheme.
The free-range pork that Darren Allen produces on the Ballymaloe farm is next to none in terms of flavour and quality. Ballyhoura Mushrooms, based in the Ballyhoura mountains, forage beautiful wild mushrooms that are perfect to use here; although chestnut or button mushrooms will work too.
The cider I use is made at my place of work. It is a completely natural product. The cider is medium-dry and crisp, which perfectly cuts through the fattiness of the pork and the cream.
James Cullinane is head chef at Longueville House, Mallow, Co Cork.
Free range pork chops with wild mushrooms and cider cream sauce
2 free range pork chops, approximately 250g each and at least 2.5cm thick
1 tbsp vegetable oil
200g wild mushroom mix (cleaned and sliced), or sliced button/chestnut mushrooms
Handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
For the cider cream sauce:
½ tsp cracked black pepper
2 garlic cloves, bashed
2 sprigs of thyme
200ml Longueville House cider (or any dry, natural cider)
150ml pork stock (if you don’t have it use chicken or veg stock)
1 Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Cesius.
2 Score a criss-cross pattern into the fat side of each of the pork chops. Bring your frying pan to a low heat and add vegetable oil. Place the chops fat-side down so that they are standing up on their sides. Slowly render the fat over a low heat for 10-15 minutes until the fat is golden brown.
3 Season the chops with sea salt and freshly ground pepper and turn the heat of your pan to high. Sear on each flat side for about one minute until they have developed a golden-brown crust.
4 Transfer the pork chops to a baking tray and cook in your pre-heated oven for six minutes, turning half-way through. Remove and leave them to rest while you prepare the mushrooms and sauce.
5 Use the juices from the pork to fry off your mushroom mix on a high heat for around 30 seconds. Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper once they are in the pan. You may have to fry the mushrooms in two batches, so that your pan stays nice and hot. Remove from the pan and place to the side.
6 To make the cider cream sauce, wipe out any excess fat from the pan and add the butter, cracked black pepper, garlic and thyme. Once the pan is hot, pour in the cider to deglaze the pan. Reduce the liquid by half, then add the pork stock.
7 Simmer this for one minute before stirring in the cream. Bring this to a simmer, add the wild mushrooms and reduce to the consistency of single cream.
8 Place the pork chops in the middle of your serving plates and spoon over the mushrooms and a generous amount of the cream sauce. Garnish with some chopped parsley. New potatoes are now in season and would make the perfect accompaniment to this dish, along with a seasonal green vegetable like chard or broccoli.
Kitchen Cabinet is a series of recipes from chefs who are members of Euro-Toques Ireland, who have come together during the coronavirus outbreak to share some of the easy, tasty things that they like to cook and eat at home #ChefsAtHome