Several years ago
I posted one of my favorite recipes for a Baked Cabbage Soup; it is an
addictive combination of pancetta, bread, cabbage, and cheese.
Susan (from the Provence WineZine) shared a recipe for Pork Chops Gratinée,
which really reminded me of the soup. I was eager to make it.
She got the
recipe from Susan Tipton, co-proprietor of Acquiesce Winery & Vineyards, who got it from
Linda, an Acquiesce wine club member, who got it from her parents’ restaurant
in France. It’s like the story of Chicken
Little without the sky falling…
This is straight-up comfort food. And that makes most people think of winter. But I made - and relished
it - on a bright, sunny, 95° day, and served it with a bottle of Acquiesce
Winery's 2015 Belle Blanc, their homage to a white Châteauneuf-du-Pape. To read
more about the pairing, visit the Provence WineZine.
Yes, this is
comfort food, and well-timed for readers south of the equator, but as it turns
out, I would eat this any day of the year! It is year-round comfort food.
The recipe was
written the way many handed-down recipes are: some of this, a little
of that, add a bit more as you need... While that method works for some, I know
many home chefs who would prefer a bit more precision.
That is what I
have done here. I have tested and codified the amounts, times, procedures. (Confident
free-hand cooks can tinker at will.)
I may never have
the opportunity to eat this dish at Susan or Linda's or Linda’s parents’ tables,
thus I may never know if this is how theirs turned out. (I'm guessing it is
pretty close...) Whatever the case, I do hope I have done justice to their
summertime, and it might be hot where you are, but don't let that stop you from
trying these chops!
Côtelettes de Porc Gratinées
2 thick cut, bone
in pork chops (about 1 1/2 inches thick)
lemon olive oil, or regular
1/2 cup white
wine, more as needed
head Savoy cabbage, thinly sliced
Pat the pork
chops dry using paper towels; season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a
large skillet over
medium-high heat and brown chops well on both sides, don’t worry about not
cooking them all the way through, as they will finish cooking later.
Remove chops and put them in a baking dish; set aside.
Sauté onions in same olive oil as chops,
so that it gets some of the pork fat in addition to the lemon oil. Once
they are soft and slightly browned from the drippings, add white wine ** and
bring to a simmer. Add the sliced cabbage. Don't let the pan burn dry; if you
need a tablespoon or more of wine, add it.
Once cabbage is wilted, reduce temperature to low and add the cream.
Reduce the liquid until it is thickened. Spoon the
mixture over pork chops. Sprinkle with grated Gruyère and season with salt and pepper
until cheese is bubbling and golden brown – about 20 minutes. Let sit 5
minutes, allowing juices in the pork to settle.
* I will used crème fraîche instead of cream in the future.
It is my guess that this is what is used in France.
** At this point, I might add a teaspoon of Dijon mustard
to round out the flavors.
Labels: acquiesce winery, belle blanc 2015, cream, gratin, Gruyère cheese, pork chops, savoy cabbage, susan tipton