Sometimes in cooking the oddest combinations turn out to be wonderful. This is one of those things that at first glance doesn’t quite seem right. Mustard and cream? Well, yes – magic.
It’s really rather simple. Take some nice, thick, boneless pork chops. Dry them off with a paper towel. Sprinkle them with kosher (or sea) salt and fresh ground pepper and press it in. Do the same for the other side.
Coat a good skillet (preferably cast iron) with a splash or two of olive oil and a pat of butter. When it has gotten hot enough – about medium – fry up the chops, about 5 minutes per side. You only want to get them just past the pink stage – you do NOT want them shoe leather done and dried out. Nice juicy gray-white is what you’re aiming for.
When they are done, set aside on a warm plate and tent them with aluminum foil. Drain off the liquid except for about 2 tablespoons of the pan juices. Add about ½ cup of apple cider (hard). If you don’t have applejack – I usually don’t, just add some apple vinegar or unsweetened apple juice with a couple of splashes of good white wine or white vermouth. Add alcohol with the burner off. Turn the burner back on and whisk about to deglaze. When the alcohol has evaporated (or you can flame it) and the pan juices and bits are completely incorporated, add a tablespoon or two of coarse stone ground mustard – the German type works well. Then add about 1/3 cup or so of heavy whipping cream. Keep stirring over low heat until it thickens a bit. With cream you have to keep whisking or it can skin over to the detriment of the taste. When it is thickened you can either add the chops back in for a few seconds per side to coat it, or just pour the juice over the chops. What we usually do is serve the juice on the side in a dipping cup.
If you don’t care about food nazis, Pommes Anna goes nicely here. If you do worry about same, a good green salad might be your ticket.