Last night’s dinner was sort of last minute. I had some pork chops brining and in the fridge for a day. I was planning on making them the previous night, but ended up going for Pho with my parents, and was home too late to cook. Then last night, we were up in the air whether or not to go out for dinner and drinks, and just forget about the pork chops all together (sorry guys!). But, since I was still feeling a little under the weather from my flu, I decided that drinks may only aggravate it, and we decided to stay in!
I had the pork chops in a super simple brine, of salt water and garlic. I sent Michael a text on how to do it as he was home early, and could get it started. I like brining with more herbs and spices, but we were low and it’s pretty hard to explain how to, to someone who doesn’t cook, over text message.
What you’ll need:
4 pork chops
1 cup dried porcini mushrooms
1.5 cups boiling water
1 cup chopped button mushrooms
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp fresh thyme
1 packet instant mushroom gravy
1 tbsp corn starch
salt and pepper to taste
I had some dry porcini mushrooms on hand that I picked up from work, so first and foremost we had to re-hyrdate those puppies. I took about 1 cup’s worth for 4 pork chops. Just pour boiling water over, and allow to sit for about 20 minutes.
Once that’s ready to go you can start!
You’ll have to make sure you dry the pork chops well, if they’re moist you’re not going to sear them, you’ll basically steam them and we don’t want that! Begin searing the pork chops in a steel or cast iron pan with some oil, try not to use non stick as you want bits to stick to the bottom of the pan, so when you make your gravy, all the delicious brown bits will be present as well. Once seared remove the pork chops and set them aside.
Add the button mushrooms and begin to brown those as well. Then strain the porcini mushrooms, chop them roughly and add them to the pan, along with 1 clove of minced garlic. Be sure to reserve the water from the mushrooms, as this will add a lot of flavour to the gravy. Continue browning for a minute or to, and get onto your chosen gravy method.
I had a packet of mushroom gravy from the grocery store and cheated and used it. All you need to do is just follow the recipe according to the packet; using the reserved liquid from the mushrooms. Generally they all call for 1 cup of liquid.
If you want to be all fancy pants and make it from scratch, just take some of the liquid and stir in a tbsp of corn starch (or two tbsp of flour) until well dissolved, and add it to the pan with the rest of the liquid. Boil until thickened. Be sure to season accordingly as this method adds no salt, as the gravy packet adds a significant amount.
Once you’ve mixed the gravy mixture, add the thyme and return the pork chops to the pan, along with any liquid that’s seeped out of them.
Continue cooking until the gravy is thickened, and remove from heat.
Serve with those thyme and garlic potatoes 😉 and perfectly cooked asparagus.