Our friend Kathleen came over for dinner last night, so we went all out. I made a pork recipe from Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook, along with a vegetable tian, and a chocolate devil's food cake for dessert (The cake took about four hours to make, and it turned out a little dry. Let us never speak of this again). Edan put together a cheese plate and a little arugula salad as a second course. With a couple of good bottles of Sirah, we were in business.
The pork turned out better than I could've hoped, so I decided to post the recipe here. I highly recommend throwing in a little demi-glace (Demi, for those who don't know, is basically veal stock heavily reduced with red wine) if you have it lying around. I did, and I think it made a big difference. For you kosher or vegetarian Apronites...Man, I pity you.
cote de porc a la charcutiere
(from Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook)
4 rib chops (I used three, because there were only three of us, and we're not gluttons.)
salt and pepper
1 small onion, finely chopped (I actually substituted a large shallot, which worked great.)
1 teaspoon Wondra flour (or all-purpose flour)
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup dark, strong chicken or veal stock (I used veal.)
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
10 cornichons, thinly sliced
1 sprig of flat parsley, chopped
oven-safe saute pan
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In the oven-safe saute pan, heat the oil, then the butter. Season the chops with salt and pepper, then sear in the hot pan for about 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for another 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and remove the chops. Set them aside on the platter, loosely covered with foil, while you make the sauce.
Return the saute pan to the heat, and add the onion. Cook until golden brown. Add the flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Stir in the wine and reduce by half, scraping, scarping, of course. Add the stock (and you really do need a good, dark, strong stock for this). Reduce the liquid by half. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the mustard. Add the cornichons, the parsley, and any juice that has run off the cooked pork chops. Adjust the seasoning. Arrange the chops on the platter and pour over the sauce. Eat.