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Pork Chops and Mushrooms in Cream Sauce

Pork chops, which are very lean and tend to dry out quickly, stay moist when braised, even for a short time. Madeira gives a deep, heady flavor to the sauce. Accompany with mashed or roasted potatoes.

Ingredients:

  • 4 bone-in, center-cut pork chops, each 6 to 8 oz. and about 3/4 inch thick
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 leeks, white and light green portions, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb. assorted fresh mushrooms, brushed clean, stems removed and caps sliced
  • 1/4 cup Madeira
  • 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth

Directions:

Season the pork chops generously with salt and pepper. In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, melt 2 Tbs. of the butter. Add the chops and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, 5 to 6 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.

Return the pan to medium-high heat and melt the remaining 1 Tbs. butter. Add the leeks, reduce the heat to medium, and sauté until soft and golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms are softened and beginning to release their liquid, about 4 minutes. Stir in the Madeira, Worcestershire sauce and 1 Tbs. of the tarragon. Cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Stir in the cream and broth.

Return the pork chops and any accumulated juices to the pan. Spoon the mushroom mixture over the chops, cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the chops are tender, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the remaining 1 Tbs. tarragon and season with salt and pepper. Serve the pork chops immediately, topped with the mushrooms and sauce. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Slow Cooking, by Melanie Barnard, Charles Pierce & Denis Kelly (Oxmoor House, 2008).