Braising meats is a bit of an old-fashioned way of cooking them. It comes from the French term Ó la braise (hot charcoal) which means to stew in a tightly closed pan (in olden days with a charcoal pan above and below). The meats were often surrounded by slices of bacon and herbs. In the 1700's the local lingo was "Stew them chicken feet in a braze!"
It's considerably easier to braise meats today.... in the modern oven. We'll eliminate the bacon to make it a healthier fare, but always keep those herbs. They impart a lot of flavor to the meat and remind you of Granny's style of cooking.
For Pork Chops Braised With Onions, you'll need:
4 ea. thick cut pork chops
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 ea. medium onions, sliced
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tsp thyme, dried or fresh
1 cup chicken stock
First, take the chops and season them with salt and pepper. Dust them in flour. Place your oil in a roasting pan or oven proof casserole and brown the chops on both sides. Take the chops out and set aside. Cook the onions in the same oil until translucent. Add the chops back to the pan with the garlic and thyme. Add your chicken stock, cover and let braise 30 to 40 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Serve with a big scoop of mashed potatoes.
People used to always serve rosÚ wines with pork, but the trend these days is more towards a Pinot Noir. If you like them light and fruity, try California's Fleur de Carneros. If you want something with more depth and bite, try the Robert Sinskey. And a good one that is in between is Buena Vista--we serve it in Fairfield's in a half liter bottle, perfect for two. And as always, a creative cook is a good cook.
Our Epicureans of the Round Table Dinner is coming up Monday, February 22. This winter's feast will be formidable--a French repast of some great food and wine pairings. There will be a champagne reception to start off at 7pm. The cost is $45/person which includes tax and gratuity. Reservations necessary. Call 979-1420. Come indulge and enjoy the camaraderie.