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.
- 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
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).