Braised Pork Chops with Tomatoes, Cream, and Porcini Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • For 4 to 6 servings
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds pork chops, preferably from the center loin, cut ¾ inch thick
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup canned imported Italian plum tomatoes, drained and cut up
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • Salt
  • Black pepper, ground fresh from the mill
  • A small packet OR 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, reconstituted and cut up
  • The filtered water from the mushroom soak, see instructions
  • ½ pound fresh, white button mushrooms

Method

1. Choose a saute pan that can subsequently accommodate all the chops without overlapping. Put in 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil, turn on the heat to medium high, and when the oil is hot, slip in the chops. Brown the meat deeply on one side, then do the other.

2. Add the white wine, letting it simmer briskly for 15 or 20 seconds, while using a wooden spoon to scrape loose any browning residues in the pan. Add the tomatoes, cream, salt, liberal grindings of pepper, and the cut-up reconstituted porcini mushrooms. Turn the heat down to cook at a very gentle simmer, and cover the pan, setting the lid on slightly ajar.

3. Cook for 45 minutes or more, depending on the exact thickness and quality of the chops, until the meat feels tender when prodded with a fork. Turn the chops from time to time.

4. While the chops are cooking, put the filtered water from the porcini mushroom soak into a small saucepan, and boil it down to about ⅓ cup.

5. Wash the fresh white mushrooms rapidly under cold running water and wipe them thoroughly dry with asoft cloth towel. Cut them into very thin lengthwise slices without detaching the caps from the stems.

6. Choose a saute pan that can contain the fresh mushrooms without crowding them. Put in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and turn on the heat to high. When the oil is hot, put in the mushrooms. Stir them frequently, adding salt and pepper. When the liquid they will shed has boiled away, add the reduced filtered water from the porcini soak, and continue to stir frequently until there is no more liquid in the pan. Take off heat.

7. When the pork chops are tender, add the cooked mushrooms to their pan. Turn the chops and mushrooms, cover the pan again, and continue cooking for 5 to 8 minutes always over moderate heat. Transfer the entire contents of the pan to a warm platter and serve at once.

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