For some reasons beyond my control, as well as some within it, Cucina DiBella is going to be a little screwy. Our home computer has officially died after several weeks of mild illnesses. So, until we get a replacement, I won't be able to post the pictures of the meals that I make. Total bummer. But, I am still taking the pictures, and I promise to add them to the blog as soon as I have a new computer. So that is the part beyond my control. The part within my control is the fact that last night I was feeling a little lazy. So, rather than go to the grocery store to get what I needed to make the antipasto dish for Lombardia, the region I will be cooking from this week, I made the main course which I already had all of the ingredients for at home. Instead of cooking an antipasto, first course, second course, and dessert, this week I'll cook a second course, antipasto, first course and then dessert. It's still all delicious though, so hopefully you'll forgive me for this as well!
On to the food. This week, as I mentioned, I will be cooking food from Lombardia. Lombardia is located in the north of Italy bordering Switzerland. Included in the region are Lake Como and Milan. Often people think that this region lacks its own characteristic food since Milan is such a fast paced industrial center. However, the region is not just about fast food and does in fact bring to the table its own distinct flavors. A traditional main course in Lombardia is called Drowned Veal Chops or Cotolette di Vitello Affogate. Again, I shunned authenticity and cooked this recipe with pork chops (mainly because it was what I had on hand. I already addressed the laziness I felt last night) rather than veal. I also used bacon that I had at home rather than pancetta. The meal was fantastic. By letting the pork simmer in the sauce of broth and white wine right along with the bacon, the flavors meld together beautifully into a wonderfully cohesive dish.
Drowned Pork Chops
Adapted from Rustico Cooking
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 pound bacon, cut into small pieces (or 1/4 pound pancetta, de-fatted and cut into 1/4 inch cubes)
4 pork chops (or 4 bone-in veal chops)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 thyme sprigs
4 rosemary sprigs
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken broth
- Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the bacon (or pancetta) and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Remove bacon to a plate, but leave butter drippings in the pan.
- Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan. Dredge the pork chops (or veal chops) in flour, shake off any excess flour, and place the chops in the pan in a single layer. Cook about 5 minutes on each side, or until golden-brown in color. Season both sides of the chops with salt and pepper and add the thyme and rosemary. Cook 1 more minute.
- Deglaze the pan with the wine and cook until the wine has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth and return the bacon to the pan.
- Cover the pan and cook for 20 minutes, turning once.
- Remove the pork chops to a platter and cook the sauce over a high heat for about 2 minutes until it reduces to a thick sauce. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of butter and cook 1 minute. Pour sauce over the veal and serve.
This meal was delicious as is, but since the bacon is cooked in the sauce for 20 minutes, it loses most of its crunch. It would have been an interesting textural contrast to have reserved some of the bacon to add at the last minute to add that crunch to the dish. Ryan also suggested that a slice of cheese melted on top of the pork chops at the end would have been delicious. So while this recipe is awesome as is, there are definitely some ways that you can play around with it as well.
Ryan's rating of Drowned Pork Chops - 5. As in, I was lucky I got to eat any at all.
Don't forget to check back in a couple days (I hope!) for pictures of this meal!