Noisettes de Porc aux Pruneaux or pork chops and prunes is a simple to make dish that’s really popular in France. Soaking the prunes in wine overnight gives them a deliciously rich taste.
Ingredients: Serves 6
6 oz prunes
500ml/2cups dry white wine
1.5-2kg/3-4 lbs pork loin roast, or boneless pork chops
Light olive oil
250ml/1cup chicken stock
65ml/¼ cup butter
250ml/1cup crème fraiche or single cream
65ml/¼ Cup currant jelly
10ml/2tsp lemon juice
Soak the prunes in the wine overnight, in a sealed container, in the refrigerator.
Transfer the prunes and wine to a saucepan, bring to the boil as quickly as possible, then simmer for 10-20mins until the prunes are super soft. Drain the prunes from the liquid, and keep both aside.
Mix together the salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a small bowl.
If using pork loin, slice into 2.5cm/1.5 inch thick slices, and season with the spice blend. Then coat evenly in the flour, being sure to remove any excess.
Heat oil in a frying pan, preferably cast iron, once hot, carefully fry the medallions for 2-3minutes on each side until golden brown – do not attempt to turn the steaks until they have browned. Remove any residual fat from the pan, but do not scrape out the browned ‘bits’ from the bottom of the frying pan.
Heating the pan over a medium heat, melt the butter, and reserved cooking liquids, and the stock, and bring to the boil, stirring and loosening any ‘stuck’ bits from the bottom of the pan. Place the pork steaks back in the pan, preferably in one layer, cover and simmer gently for 45-minutes (set a timer), until the steaks are tender or the internal temperature is 65˚C/145˚F.
When your timer is 15-minutes from completion, set your oven to 135˚C/275˚F.
Once cooked, remove the pork steaks to an ovenproof dish and cover, place in the warmed oven until ready to serve.
Make the sauce
Carefully pour the crème fraiche into the remaining juice, and bring to a slow boil, whisking in the cream to ensure all the crème fraiche dissolves and the bits of ‘fond’ are incorporated into the sauce. (Fond is the culinary term for the bits of golden brown food stuck on the bottom of the pan).
Once thickened, add in the currant jelly and lemon juice, whisking quickly, followed by the prunes,
Season with salt and pepper, and continue to heat until the prunes are thoroughly warmed, but not disintegrating.
When you’re ready, place a pork medallion on a serving plate or platter, add a few prunes to garnish, and then generously coat both the prunes and the pork with the sauce.
Kit Smyth is a retired chef with a passion for French cuisine. Originally from Australia, Kit is dedicated to exploring both old and new ingredients, techniques and styles, and developing recipes for home cooks, she also teaches these recipes online and in-person. Find out more at her website: TheBiteLine