Quick pork chops with sherried mushrooms

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20080129_mushroomporkchopstitleOne of my favourite quotes from The Simpsons goes something like this:

Marge: It might be nice to go out to dinner tomorrow night.

Homer:  Tomorrow night?  Friday?  Pork chop night?? Marge, we haven’t missed pork chop night since the Great Pig Scare of 87!

I think it’s because I felt exactly the same way about pork chops when I was growing up.  My mom made the most delicious crumbed pork chops and when I asked what’s for dinner and the answer was pork chops, my heart would always sing.  Go out on pork chop night?  You must be crazy.

I don’t think I’ve had a crumbed pork chop in a decade or so, but I do know that one of my weeknight standbys is pork chops.  They are quick, easy and versatile, although after much experimentation I think I’ve finally found the best way to cook them.  I used to grill them which was good for crisping the fat but usually resulted either in dried-out meat or undercooked chops.  I also tried oven-baking them covered in aluminium foil, but this total lack of browning did nothing for the fat and left the meat moist but an uninspiring grey colour.  In the end, I decided that the solution was to pan-fry them after marinading them for an hour or so, and this quick and easy weeknight recipe is an embellishment on that basic idea.

Enjoy!

Other bloggers cooking with mushrooms include:

 

 

PORK CHOPS AND SHERRIED MUSHROOMS (serves 2)

Ingredients

2 pork chops
olive oil
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 clove of garlic, crushed
salt and pepper to taste
lemon juice
1 small onion very thinly sliced
about a dozen mushrooms, thinly sliced
medium cream sherry
butter
2 Tbsp single cream (optional)

Method

Place the pork chops in a shallow dish and add a good glug of olive oil and a tablespoon or so of lemon juice.  Turn the chops over in the oil and lemon juice a few times so that they are well-coated. Add the garlic and spices and “mash” them into the meat of the chops using the back of a fork.  Cover and refrigerate, preferably for an hour.

Over medium heat, heat a little olive oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan.  When it is fairly hot, add the pork chops seasoned side down.  While in the pan, season the other side with salt, pepper and any of the spices left in the marinading dish.  Cook for about ten minutes on that side, then turn over.  Move the chops to one side of the pan and add a small knob of butter to the other side.  Once melted, add the onions and stir continuously so that they do not burn.

Once all the butter has cooked off, add a generous splash of sherry to the pan and leave to cook until almost all the liquid is gone (another 5-10 minutes).  Add the mushrooms to the onions and stir until just cooked.  Check the chops for doneness, remove from the pan and deglaze with a little more sherry, scraping up any burnt bits from the bottom of the pan to stir into the mushrooms.  Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.  Remove from the heat and (if desired) stir the cream into the mushrooms.  Serve the mushrooms poured over the chops.  As you will see below, my chop was accompanied by lentils and string beans – delicious.

Go out on pork chop night?  Never!

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  1. says

    Happy to have found you. It was only living in New Zealand that I realized the huge influence Malaysian cuisine had on South African food – though not the pork part – using fruit and other sweet ingredients.
    Any good South African restaurants in London, or a South Africa enclave? I’ve just started making a map of food in London by streets that are dominated by an ethnic cuisine.

  2. says

    I love the combination of sherry and mushrooms… over pork, chicken, turkey…
    My mother always made fantastic pork chops, too. Must be a maternal knack I didn’t pick up…

  3. says

    This is a weeknight standby? How excellent is that?! May we move into your spare room? – or even a closet will do if we could just have some of your weeknight standbys… (Are those sauteed onions in with the green beans?)
    -Elizabeth

  4. says

    One of the few cuts of meat that always leaves me uninspired. Good for barbecuing and nothing else! Until now that is. I could SOOO eat this a couple of nights a week. YUM. Especially since we normally buy a whole free range pig raised by a friend not far from us, and then have it butchered. Pigs are quite big and I never know what to do with the chops. Seems a waste to sausage them!

  5. says

    You are right, pork chops can be a bugger to cook properly, ie. not dry. My wife loves breaded pork chops too, it is one of those dishes that remind her of home, I just love them ‘cos they taste great.

  6. says

    Hi there, we had a rather nice porkchop nite recently thanks to your recipe! Thanks for that, and come visit to see the results if you like…
    PS: Congratulations on your bloggy awards!

  7. says

    i laughed out loud when i read your Simpsons quote.
    my boss gets hysterical every wednesday if he’s not standing in line at the city cafe in brentwood, tennessee by 11.30. they run out of their pork chops by 12.
    great post!

  8. Allan Wilkins says

    Great to have found your blog. I had totally forgotten about crumbed porkchops. Rushed off to the store to get some pork chops and picked up medium cream sherry on the way home to make the sherried mushrooms. Great memories.

  9. says

    Hi, and Merry Christmas
    We like pork chops so much that we’re having them for Christmas lunch. I found your blog whilst looking for some new twists on my usual favourites, and the sherried mushrooms idea looks great!
    I completely agree that if you get good quality pork chops then pan-frying is by far the best method.
    Gotta go. It’s 11.30 am here and about time I got started. :-)

  10. says

    I think your childhood pork chop experience is unique. Most of the generation grew up on newly lean chops that were dry and lacking in taste. Brining pork chops seems to be the only way to keep them nice and juicy.