Every now and then a recipe comes along that is perfect.
Simple, straightforward, and SO delicious that you want to make it again the very next day.
That’s totally what happened to me when I made Pork Chops with Porcini Mushrooms.
We all get in ruts…but sometimes they’re good ruts. For example, I love Pork Chops with Tomatoes and Sage, the very first recipe I posted on this website almost a year ago.
It’s a great dish, one of my husband’s favorites, and something I can make in my sleep.
So I was all set to make it again when I wondered what other pork chop recipes might be lurking in the same cookbook.
If you’re only going to own one Italian cookbook, I’d choose this one by Marcella Hazan. We talked about her briefly when I was cooking her son’s recipe for Fusilli with Sausage, Ricotta, and Fresh Tomatoes. Every recipe I’ve ever made from her cookbooks has been fantastic.
These Pork Chops with Porcini Mushrooms cook in a very similar style (braising) to the Pork Chops with Tomatoes and Sage. Brown the meat, add some flavorings and a little liquid, then go away while the chops cook for an hour. The only change I made to the original recipe was to increase the amount of sauce since I come from a sauce loving family.
Here’s what you need:
Center Cut Pork Chops, Porcini Mushrooms, Button Mushrooms, Diced Tomatoes, Heavy Cream, White Wine, Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper.
Porcini Mushrooms are most often found dried. My regular old grocery store sells them in the same part of the produce section near the regular fresh mushrooms.
Since they are dried and shriveled up, you have to add liquid to reconstitute them and bring them back to life.
They usually come in a 1 ounce package. For this recipe we will only need half a package but they will keep (practically forever) sealed up in their little plastic package in the refrigerator.
Put half of the porcini mushrooms in a small bowl and cover it with 1 cup of hot water.
I’m using water that was just shy of boiling. Let the mushrooms steep in the hot water while you prepare the other ingredients.
For this recipe you need Center Cut, Bone in Pork Chops – think the T-bone of pork chops. Try to find chops that are 3/4 to 1 inch thick.
Heat 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil over medium high heat in a large pan. Add the pork chops and cook quickly (2-3 minutes per side) over high heat to brown both sides.
When the chops are golden brown on both sides, turn the heat down to medium and pour in 1/2 cup of dry white wine. Scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
Drain the juice from a can of diced tomatoes and add 1/2 cup of drained tomatoes to the pan.
I’m using fire roasted tomatoes because I love them and that’s what was in the cabinet but any old diced tomatoes will be fine. Save the rest of those tomatoes and throw them in the next soup or pot of spaghetti sauce you make.
Pour in 1/4 cup heavy cream…
and season with salt and pepper. Stir the sauce to distribute all of the ingredients around the chops.
If your sauce isn’t already bubbling, bring it up to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and cover with a lid. Leave the lid slightly ajar to vent out some of the steam. The chops should simmer (small bubbles) while they cook for an hour.
By now the porcini mushrooms should have softened and made a lovely porcini tea-like liquid.
Porcinis have a strong, woodsy flavor that is super concentrated when they are dried and rehydrated.
Strain out the mushroom pieces and SAVE the liquid. Porcinis can be fairly gritty so give the rehydrated mushrooms a quick rinse.
Chop up the rinsed porcinis into small bits…
and add them to the pan of pork chops and sauce.
Put the lid back on the pan leaving it slightly ajar and cook the pork chops for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Check in on the chops occasionally and turn them over to coat both sides with the savory sauce.
While the pork chops cook, we’re going to use the liquid from the porcini mushrooms to give a HUGE flavor boost to the regular old white button mushrooms.
Grab a small sauce pan and place it under a strainer. Line the strainer with a paper towel.
Strain the liquid from the porcini mushrooms through the towel lined strainer to remove any grit and small bits.
Do not skip this step or you will have gritty, sandy sauce.
Put the pan of strained porcini liquid on the stove over medium high heat. We want to reduce and concentrate this sauce so tip your pan to the side so you can gauge how much liquid is in the pan.
Bring the liquid to a boil and cook until the sauce has been reduced by half.
You now have Porcini Mushroom Elixir. Powerful stuff.
If your mushroom liquid reduces quickly, simply turn it off and set it aside.
While the sauce is reducing, rinse and pat dry 4 ounces (half a standard package) of white mushrooms and slice them very thinly.
Put 1-2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil in a large saute pan and cook the sliced mushrooms over medium high heat.
Cook the mushrooms until they are golden brown and have released most of their liquid. Then pour the concentrated, reduced porcini liquid into the sliced mushrooms and cook over medium heat until all of the liquid has been absorbed.
Take these super flavored mushrooms off the heat and set aside until the pork chops have finished cooking.
After 45 minutes (1 hour for really thick chops), your pork chops should be tender and the sauce savory and delicious.
Add the sliced mushrooms to the pan and cook uncovered for 5 more minutes over medium heat to thicken the sauce.
I served this with some quick parmesan couscous and broccoli although I would have been completely happy to just eat the pork chop and sop up the sauce with some crusty bread.
This recipe? Definitely a keeper.
Here’s the recipe: