Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Oregon-style Pork Chops in wine sauce with 'Oregon Hash'



Phew! That's a mouthful! In my opinion, it's actually a better titled than Rachael Ray's title.

This meal was...okay. MUCH better than last time, but still a bit of a let down. Graham didn't like the "hash", and while it's an Oregon/Northwest-inspired meal, it just didn't do it for me. I suppose I was just expecting a little bit more. While I like all the different flavors individually, they just don't all belong together.

Oregon Pork Chops & Hash

4 (1 1/2-inch thick) boneless pork loin chops
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 3 turns of the pan
2 leeks
1 cup hazelnut or filbert nut pieces
1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries
1 cup Pinot Noir (recommended: Willamette Valley Oregon)
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 stick butter, divided
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 pound crimini (baby portobello) mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1/2 pound shiitake mushroom caps, sliced
1 bunch kale, roughly chopped, 4 to 5 cups
1 (15-ounce) can sliced beets, drained
8 ounces blue cheese crumbles (recommended: Oregon)
1 loaf crusty whole-grain bread
3 tablespoons chopped chives

Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Season chops with salt and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil to the hot skillet. Add the pork chops. Cook pork chops 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Remove to platter and cover with tin foil.

As pork chops cook, split leeks lengthwise, slice in 1/2-inch half-moon pieces and wash vigorously under running water in a colander to release sand. Shake to dry.

Preheat a second large skillet for hash over medium-high heat. Add nuts to the skillet and brown 2 to 3 minutes then remove and reserve them.

To pork chop skillet, add another tablespoon olive oil and the leeks. Cook the leeks until tender, 5 minutes. Add cranberries and Pinot Noir to the pan. Scrape up the pan drippings and stir in chicken stock. When sauce comes up to a bubble, return the pork chops to the pan and reduce heat to simmer. Finish cooking chops through, 10 minutes.

To the hash skillet, add 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter. When butter melts into oil, add shallots and mushrooms and cook 5 minutes, until soft and fragrent. Add kale. Wilt the kale into the pan and season with salt and pepper, to taste. When kale is hot and wilted, add beets and gently combine until warm. Adjust seasonings.

Preheat broiler. Pull pork chops from their sauce. Raise heat and bring back to a bubble.

Cut off 4 thick slices of whole-grain bread. Char bread under broiler on each side while you finish the sauce. Add 2 tablespoons butter to the sauce to give it gloss and weight and turn off heat. Pour sauce over pork chops.

Serve hash alongside pork chops and top with crumbles of blue cheese and reserved nuts. Spread charred bread with remaining butter and sprinkle liberally with chopped chives.

Notes:
  • I served this with a loaf of white bread found in the refridgerated section of the grocery store. I love whole grain bread, but we're doing what we can to cut costs and save money.
  • If you make this, the kale will take absolutely no time to wilt down, which is fantastic.
  • You can substitute onions for shallots, but the shallots have a milder, more delicate taste so the kale really shines.
  • The kale has a real bite to it. Use something less bitter if you don't like kale.
  • This makes A LOT of food. I halved this recipe and there was still quite a bit left over.
  • I have a special place in my heart for blue cheese, but Graham doesn't. You can easily omit the cheese if you like, or replace with goat cheese or feta.
  • This was a 45 Minute Meal, not exactly 30. Some of that time was spent prepping and chopping, but it took the pork chops quite a while to cook through in the sauce. To remedy, I'd either make the pork chops first and have them keep warm while the sauce and hash cook, or make them AFTER the sauce and hash to ensure they stay moist and delicious.
  • If you substitute green onions/scallions for the leeks, make sure you add them as close to the end of the cooking process as possible or they'll fall apart.
  • A trick to cleaning out the grit and sand that gets trapped in leeks: fill a bowl with warm water. trim the ends off the leeks and cut them lengthwise. Drop them in the bowl of water and separate the layered pieces. The grit and sand will fall to the bottom, and the leeks will float to the top.

1 comment:

  1. I'm from Oregon, so I'm intrigued. I think I would leave out leeks, because I'm not the biggest fan, and the beets seem like a weird addition too. Like most RR recipes, I think with tweaking it could be awesome. Thanks for all the handy tips!

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