I did not abandon the kitchen this past week, I just got lazy! You know when all you want are comfort foods, the ones that warm your heart and fill your plate and your heart at the same time, the ones that bring back fond memories and give you that distant look, indicating that you are travelling decades ago into the reminiscence of a crowded kitchen and hot baked cookies.
A few dishes do that for me and this is one of them.
A simple pan-seared pork chop glazed in a robust sauce with candied mushrooms. Served with either mashed potatoes or in this case a medley of little market potatoes, multicolored and rustic, this is one of those dishes where I wish my Mom were here with me. Pork in France is much more tender than this American counterpart, but, with the right technique, you can achieve the same melt-in-your-mouth quality.
Orange Glazed Pork Chops
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 (1/2-inch-thick) boneless pork chops
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 lb button white mushrooms
- ½ cup white wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- Pepper to taste
- 1 Tbsp orange zest (optional)
Pat the pork chops dry to remove any moisture from the meat. Generously salt and pepper both sides of the meat. Heat a 12-inch sauté pan over high heat, and, when hot, add the olive oil. When the oil shimmers and is on the point of smoking, add the chops without crowding the pan. Allow to cook 4 to 6 minutes on the first side, then turn over and allow to cook 1 minute on the second side.
While the chops are cooking, prepare the glaze. In a medium bowl, whisk all the glaze ingredients together until sugar is dissolved.
Remove the meat from the pan and place on a dish aside.
Add the butter to the pan and let it melt without burning. Add the mushrooms and cook until the moisture is drawn out from the mushrooms and evaporates in the pan. Add the glaze to the pan and slide the chops back in the glaze, cooking over medium heat until the chops reach 140 degrees with an instant read thermometer. Take out of the pan and place on the serving dish. Tent with foil and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes.
While the meat is resting, turn the heat up a little on the glaze and scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan, letting it thicken until a wooden spoon scraped on the bottom leaves a trail. Add the orange zest to the glaze (optional) for a more pronounced orange flavor.
Pour the glaze and mushrooms over the chops to coat and serve.