Are pork chops as American as apple pie? I seem to think so. I grew up putting chops in large plastic bags and pouring Shake and Bake over them.
“It’s shake and bake. And I helped!”
My mom usually paired pork chops with mashed potatoes and applesauce. Each meal using pork chops I eat as an adult brings back those happy memories.
The United States consumes around 9 million metric tons of pork every year, not even close to China which consumes more than 50 million metric tons. In other parts of the world, pork is strictly forbidden. Religion, being the dominant international cultural force that it is, has played a large role in pork consumption. It is mentioned in the book of Deuteronomy (14:8):
“And the pig, because it possesses split hooves and does not bring up its cud — from its flesh you may not eat.”
It is also is forbidden according to Islamic dietary laws:
“He has forbidden you only the Maitah (dead animals), and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than God (or has been slaughtered for idols)”
Chapter (Sura) 2 – Verse (Ayat) 173 Al-Baqara (The Cow)
So for my Islamic and Kosher readers, this one may not apply to you, but you could easily substitute chicken or turkey.
I’m going to attempt to reconcile my French roots in this recipe by smothering my American cut pork chops with a French sauce. Sauce Robert (pronounced row-bear) is as ancient as it comes to French cuisine dating back to the 17th century. The earliest documented recipe is found in the journals of the cook for Henry IV. If it’s good enough for royalty, I think it’s worth a try.
Ingredients (Serves 2)
- 2 thick cut pork chops
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1c thickened beef stock
- 1/4c white wine
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- parsley, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Allow pork to come to room temperature. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in an oven safe skillet over high heat. Season pork chops with salt and pepper. Place in pan for 2 minutes or until chops are seared and pleasantly browned. Turn chops over and place in oven for 15 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.
2. With an oven mitt (the pan is super hot now), take the pan out of the oven and place back on the stove. Remove the pork chops and allow to rest on a cutting board. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
3. Turn the heat up to high. Pour in white wine and scrape up any brown bits left on pan. Allow liquid to reduce by half. Place shallots in the pan and cook for 30 seconds. Place thickened beef stock, dijon mustard, and sugar in the pan. Whisk together. Turn the heat down to simmer for at least 5 minutes. This will allow the flavors to blend together.
4. Before serving, turn off the heat. Place the butter in the pan and swirl until melted. Serve pork chops over a bed of rice. Generously pour Robert sauce over and garnish with parsley.