Mary Anne here. It’s unseasonably cold (and even snowing!) here in New York, so I thought the following might warm things up a bit as the sweet scent of the sauce envelops your home. This recipe is truly an oldie, but as delicious in my new version as it was when I indulged in the more expensive “Frenched Center Cut Pork Chops,” which go for at least $6 a lb. This time around, I subbed in a roast that cost me just $3 dollars a lb – I’m no mathematician but that seems like a pretty Feast-worthy swap.
I was reminded of this recipe several months ago when I received a letter from a girl (now actually a grown woman with 10 children of her own!) who was Mariel’s babysitter 25 years ago. Laurie was a student at one of the local colleges and she lived with us the summer that I was pregnant with my second child. Laurie was a sweetheart – she exuded happiness and an unshakably positive attitude finding joy in even the smallest daily events. The truth is, she drove me a little nuts with her incessant sunshiny-good humor, but it really wasn’t her fault. I was a terror that summer – seriously. Whenever I was pregnant, I was a total hormonal lunatic.
So dear Laurie saw our blog last spring and she wrote to tell me she still makes the following recipe. Unsurprisingly, pork chops aren’t in a budget that feeds 10 or 12 people, but a roast makes this meal far more economical. She was kind enough to send me my own recipe as I had all but forgotten it, and I thank you for that, Laurie, and also for being such an angel during that very pregnant summer!
I’ve jazzed up “our” recipe a bit by creating a seasoned rub designed to tenderize the meat, and I suggest you pair this with my Roasted New Potatoes with Garlic. The optional side of crisp, peppery watercress beautifully complements the sweet Black Currant reduction.
And Laurie, if you have any more of my recipes, let us know…or better yet, in between changing diapers and cooking for your own family, we’d love it if you would contribute one of your own faves! xo
Laurie L.’s Pork “Chops” with Black Currant Reduction
For the rub:
1 teaspoon salt – stock
½ teaspoon each of ground sage, thyme, and allspice – stock
freshly ground black pepper – stock
1 tablespoon olive oil – stock
For the recipe:
¼ cup Black Currant Preserves – $1.25
1 ½ T prepared Dijon-style mustard – stock
2 ½ lb. rib–end pork loin roast, sliced into 6 “chops”: 1 ½ ” thick each – $7.58
1/3 cup white wine vinegar — stock
watercress, washed and patted dry with tough stems removed (optional) – $1.99
Grand total assuming well-stocked pantry: $10.82
Total per serving: $3.61
1. Prepare the rub either the night before or 8 hours ahead of time. Thoroughly combine all of the spices and rub evenly over the un-sliced roast. Drizzle with olive oil and spread evenly over seasoned roast. Cover and refrigerate.
2. Preheat the oven to about 200 degrees.
3. Mix the black currant preserves and mustard together in a small bowl and set aside.
4. Slice the roast into 6, 1½ inch “chops”
5. Heat a non-stick skillet and brown pork lightly on both sides. It will have an uneven, soft caramel color.
5. Spoon currant and mustard mixture evenly over each “chop” and cover the sauté pan with a tight fitting lid.
6. Reduce the heat and cook the chops for 20 minutes or until the meat is done. (The juices will run clear when the meat is pricked with a toothpick or knife.)
7. Transfer the pork to a platter and keep warm in the preheated oven.
8. Skim the excess fat from the skillet and add the white wine vinegar.
9. Bring to a boil stirring and scraping up any brown bits. When the sauce is reduced by about a third, pour it over the chops and serve immediately garnished with watercress.