If you’re on a diet, read no further. Squeeze your eyes tight shut, grope blindly for the off button and visit the fridge to feast on a nice plate of mixed salad leaves (no dressing).
If on the other hand you’re in the mood for a rich and wintery dish of chops with wine and cheese, peppercorns, sage and mustard, you’ve come to the right place.
I’m a big fan of Simon Hopkinson and religiously buy his cookery books as they are published. His is the sort of food I really want to cook at home; wonderfully appetising, not off-puttingly cheffy but with still written with meticulous attention to detail and often with a clever twist I wouldn’t have thought of myself.
The only time he’s ever made me howl in disagreement was when he suggested putting vinegar in the cooking water for poached eggs – a personal bugbear.
But he gets no argument from me over this recipe, which is from his book The Good Cook. I was cooking for two so I halved the quantities given below for the topping. I also substituted a mixture of Parmesan and Cheddar for the Gruyere because that’s what I had to hand.
Luscious Pork Chops
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 thick pork chops, rind removed
200 ml dry white wine
75 g grated Gruyere or Emmenthal cheese
1 level tbsp drained, rinsed and lightly crushed green peppercorns (from a jar or tin)
125 ml double cream
1 heaped tspn Dijon mustard
About 10 sage leaves, torn into pieces
Preheat the grill.
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottom frying pan. Season the chops and fry on both sides until golden.
Pour off any excess oil, turn the heat down a bit and pour in the wine.
Let it bubble up then reduce the heat to low, cooking for about 10 minutes until the wine has reduced by half, turning the chops halfway through.
While the chops are cooking, mix together the cheese, peppercorns, cream, mustard and sage leaves. Spread on the cooked chops and put the pan under the grill until the topping is bubbling and golden.
Put the chops on a hot serving dish then place the pan back on the heat. Whisk any of the topping that’s slipped off the chops into the sauce. Pour it around the chops and serve with plain boiled potatoes.
With the extra pop and pep of the mustard and green peppercorns this definitely qualifies as a winter warmer, so I’m entering it for the January Cheese, Please! Challenge run by top blogger Fromage Homage …