4 x 300g French trimmed pork chops (thick cut, most butchers will do this for you)
Brine for pork chops:
- 1 cup salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons hot red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons juniper berries
- 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1/4 cup fresh rosemary, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 12 garlic cloves, smashed
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
- 8 cups water
- Mix all of the brine ingredients together in a nonreactive (stainless steel) pot and bring to a boil.
- Turn off the heat and stir the brine to ensure that the salt, sugar, and maple syrup have dissolved.
- Let the brine cool, then put it in a large nonreactive container and add the pork chops. Cover and refrigerate for no more than 12 hours.
- 2 red onions sliced into rings
- 100g butter
- ¼ cup of sherry
- 1litre cream
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 4 sprigs rosemary
- ½ cup white wine
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 cups pork stock (recipe below)
- On a low heat fry the onions in the butter until soft but not browned. Add the garlic and herbs and turn up the heat to brown all the ingredients.
- Once browned, add the sherry and wine and reduce by half, about 3 – 4 min. Add the cream and pork stock and reduce until again this time to about 2/3. Set aside to serve later.
- 3kg pork bones, roughly chopped
- 3 medium white onions, peeled and quartered
- 4 large carrots, peeled and halved
- 3–4 celery sticks, roughly chopped
- 1 whole garlic bulb, halved horizontally
- A few black peppercorns
- A few fennel seeds
- 6 bay leaves
- 3–4 sprigs of thyme
- A few parsley stalks
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the pork bones in a large roasting tray and season them well with salt and pepper. Roast for 40–45 minutes, turning once, until golden and caramelised.
- Using tongs, transfer the roasted bones to a large stockpot. Pour off any excess fat from the roasting tray, then place the tray over a low heat and add a glass of water to deglaze. Stir and scrape up the sticky, sweet caramelised bits from the bottom of the tray with a wooden spoon.
- Add this liquor to the stockpot, along with the vegetables, garlic, peppercorns, fennel seeds and herbs, then pour in enough fresh water to cover everything.
- Bring to a gentle simmer and cook, uncovered, for at least 3 hours – and up to 5. Top up the water once or twice, if necessary.
- Strain the stock through a fine sieve, leave it to cool, then chill. You can freeze your stock in batches – that way you’ll always have some on hand.
Dijon Mustard Pomme Purée
- 1 ½ cups double cream
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 cloves crushed garlic
- Salt & pepper to taste
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the double cream, bay leaf, nutmeg and garlic.
- Bring to a boil and reduce the cream by one fourth. This should take 3 to 5 minutes. Add the wholegrain Dijon mustard.
- Season lightly with salt to taste. Strain the cream through a sieve into a small saucepot to keep warm. Smash the garlic into the sieve to expel as much flavour as possible.
- 1kg potatoes – diced into 3cm cubes
- 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp salt
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Pour the potatoes into a medium saucepot. Add enough cold water to completely submerge the potatoes. Add 1 tablespoon of salt. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Taste the salted water to check the salt level. If it isn’t seasoned enough, add more salt little by little until reaching your desired seasoning. Turn heat down to medium-low and bring to simmer. Cook 8 to 10 minutes, or until a diced potato can easily be smashed on a cutting board by the back of a spoon.
- Be sure not to let the water come back to a boil or you will end up with watery mushy potatoes. Pour the cooked potatoes into a strainer and allow to drain for 30 seconds to fully release excess water, then add back into the saucepot.
- Cover and bring to medium heat to let the potatoes steam for 1 to 2 minutes. Scoop cooked potatoes into a ricer and press over a medium-sized bowl. Repeat until all the potatoes have passed through the ricer.
- Slowly fold a third of the infused cream into the riced potatoes with a rubber spatula. Lightly whip the potatoes and add another third of the infused cream. Fold in a few knobs of cubed butter at a time until all of the butter is incorporated.
- Add the Dijon mustard, whip the potato mixture and taste for seasoning. Add more salt and/or infused cream if needed.
- This puree should be aerated, light, fluffy, and able to run off the side of a spoon or rubber spatula.
Pork Chops and Assembly
- Remove the pork from the brine and pat dry (without rinsing). Pre heat the oven to 180˚C. Prepare a hot griddle pan (when you can’t hold your hand near the surface for more than 2 seconds).
- Season chops with pepper (not salt – the brining solution is salty) and brush with oil. Sear the chops for about 90 seconds on each side.
- Then move the chops to the preheated oven covered with foil and cook until you’ve reached the desired preference but chops should still be moist.
- Serve immediately, accompanied the Pomme Pureé and Soubise sauce. Garnish with deep fried rosemary & thyme sprigs.