If you’ve been following the whitewater rafting saga, you’ll remember that the last time I posted here I was going the next day to an orthopedic surgeon to find out whether surgery was necessary to repair the carnage wrought upon my ankle during our little foray on the Ocoee River. I’m happy to report that the visit went very well and I came away with the best possible news! Yes, both bones are broken just above the ankle, but no surgery is needed! I do, however, have to stay completely off my left foot for the next several weeks, but I can do that! I don’t even have to have a hard cast. The immobilization boot that I’m currently wearing is doing the job nicely and I’m very thankful for that as well.
So, while I’m still channeling Hopalong Cassidy (am I showing my age or what!), BeeBop is being a trooper and helping with everything that I can’t do on my own. Including all the cooking. Now, I ask you – when you leave the menu choices up to men what are you likely to get? Salads, no. Cute little appetizers and snacks, no. You’re going to get meat and potatoes. Am I right?
Yes, it may be meat and potatoes, but this recipe is just about as elegant as meat and potatoes gets, y’all. The original recipe comes from the Cooking Channel series French Food at Home which is presented by Laura Calder. I’ve watched just about every show in that series and have yet to see her make a recipe that I didn’t want to try.
Laura’s recipe calls for four fatty pork chops. BeeBop found these gorgeous thick-cut chops at the grocery store and they were so big that we just used two of them. The original recipe also calls for juniper berries which, apparently, are unheard of by grocery stores in this part of the world. We subbed in two sprigs of fresh tarragon – the closest thing in taste that I could come up with. You can always just leave that out entirely if you like.
You’ll start by creating little pockets with the point of a knife in the sides of the chops and inserting slivers of garlic. Then salt and pepper each side and brown the chops in some butter in a skillet over medium high heat.
Now layer half the potatoes and onions in a deep baking dish or Dutch oven. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Lay the chops on top, scatter the bacon over and add the tarragon.
Cover with the remaining potatoes and onion, sprinkle with salt and pepper and pour over the wine.
Note: Slicing the potatoes and onions is made infinitely easier by using a mandoline. BeeBop did all these in less than two minutes. Just saying.
Cut a piece of parchment to fit over the contents of the dish and lay it on top of the final layer of potatoes and onions. The lid makes a fine template for cutting the parchment.
Bake for one hour and 30 minutes, adding the stock halfway through the cooking. Sprinkle with parsley to serve.
What I was up to…
- One year ago: A Visit to Drayton Hall, Charleston, SC
- Two years ago: How to Set the Table
- Three years ago: Slow Cooker Ribs