Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Pork and Cream

Sat 19 April 2008

Studying mode is in full swing and Andy was going to cook Saturday night's supper until he fell foul of a cold. Still, he'd already done the hard work (the shopping). The concept: pork cutlets (British of course), pan fried, with a cream and chive sauce, served with carrots and potato rösti.

Let's start with the röstis. They're surprisingly easy, requiring only potato, plenty of butter and pepper to taste.

Grate the peeled potatoes (either using a cheese grater or the shredding disk in the Magimix) and squeeze out any excess water. Heat a pan and melt plenty of butter. Add your shredded potato, squashing it down to make a tightly packed patty, and grind over some pepper. Let the base get good and crisp, before turning (adding more butter as you go). After the rösti is crisp on both sides, move to a warm oven (my fan oven was around 150C). You can make these as small or as large as you wish - and if you have an oven proof frying pan (no wood or plastic handles!) you needn't worry about turning: just dab butter all over the top and finish off in a warm oven and a quick flash under the grill.

For the pork, I finely chopped two shallots and fried them off in plenty of butter (a bit of a theme here ...), before adding the cutlets. Because I was making a rich, generous sauce I didn't bother worrying about getting the pork brown - I just made sure it was gently cooked, before removing it to the oven while I made the sauce.

Sauce wise, I cranked up the temperature, and added a generous splash of wine to deglaze the pan. Then a good knob of unsalted butter was mixed through, and it was finished off with sour cream and some very finely chopped chives.

Serve the pork chops smothered in the sauce, with rösti on the side, and some steamed carrots (well, you need to compensate for the cream and butter somehow ...).

To drink, we had a 2002 Domaine Bruno Clair Marsannay. Marsannay is a Burgundian appellation, from the Côte d'Or. White Marsannays receive a pretty dismissive entry in The World Atlas of Wine. I was interested to note on the Domaine Bruno Clair website that the wine is 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Blanc. Who knew that Pinot Blanc was allowed in Burgundy? Actually, I didn't even know Marsannay was a Burgundian appellation - but fortunately it's NOT one which appears in any of the WSET material, perhaps because it's the youngest appellation, added in 1987.

Technicalities aside, the wine was pretty good. It was well balanced, although both fruit (in particular) and acidity were fading fast. There was still citrus and it was a pleasantly buttery wine (handy, with all the cream and butter in the food). Thanks in part to its reasonably high alcohol (13%), it had good weight and the length wasn't bad. The big problem with this wine is the price. I actually bought it reduced to about £8 but the normal retail price was £12.99. That's just far, far too much when you can buy excellent Mâcon-Lugnys at around half the price. Both the reds and rosés from Marsannay receive kinder words from Robinson/Johnson - so perhaps seek these out in preference to the whites.

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