Friday, September 11, 2009

Pork chops "Robert"

I have no clue who Robert is and my friend Google for once hasn't shed any light on my dilemma. I have been going through the "Mastering the art of French cooking" tome lately and the more I read it the less I believe I'll ever master said art, mainly because I usually leave the office between 6 and 7 p.m., which means that I don't have hours to dedicate to the preparation of my meals. Mastering the art of French cooking is a great book written -as Julia Child herself announces in the introduction- "for the servantless American cook". What good old Julia didn't take into account is that in 2009 the avarage American cook not only would be servantless, but would also be employed full-time, a detail that makes most of the recipes in the book impossible to make on a week day. Or at least it makes it impossible for me -Julie Powell did it so I guess it is technically possible. To make a long story short, I was going through the book the other day and I happened to find a recipe for cotes de porc Robert, a recipe that not only sounded yummy but also reasonably quick to make (I mean reasonably quick by 1950s standards, it takes about an hour). So I made it and I have to say it was the best pork chops I have had in a long time: slow-cooked, juicy and smothered in a savory tomato sauce. What else can one ask for?

For two

2 thick-cut, bone-in pork chops
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup minced onion
All-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup good quality chopped tomatoes out of a can
Salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon sage
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup beef stock
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Fresh chopped basil

Season the pork chops with salt and pepper.Brown them in an oven-proof casserole over medium high heat. Remove from casserole and set aside. Brown the onions in some butter on low heat, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Sift flour over onions and cook for two minutes more.

Preheat oven to 300F.

Add canned tomatoes, sage, salt, wine and stock. Simmer for a few minutes. Add tomato paste, taste and adjust seasoning. Place cooked chops back in casserole and baste with tomato sauce. Bring to a simmer, cover and place in the oven. Cook for about 20 minutes or until pork is done. Garnish with basil and serve immediately.



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