5 March 2016
So, this recipe was requested by a lady who has supported my love of cooking for several years and was one of the people who eventually convinced me to start this blog. No, she isn’t my mother; she’s my flatmate’s mother! Her name is Jen, and she’s possibly the nicest person you could ever hope to meet.
I made this dish for her a couple of years ago when she had come to visit us, and she really liked it. I’m actually really pleased that this was one of the requests I received, as I make it several times a year and had been waiting for the chance to share it.
In all honesty, I basically stole this recipe from one of Nigella Lawson’s cooking shows (“Nigella Express”, Ep. 1) but seeing as Nigella admits that she stole it from a pub in Normandy anyway, it’s all good! I make mine a little differently, but that’s just a matter of taste.
It may sound odd, but I see Nigella as a sort of “kitchen mother”, as she probably my biggest influence when it comes to food. Her first TV series “Nigella Bites” started airing in Australia in 2000 when I was 15 years old, and I’ve been a fan ever since. If you’ve never heard of her, or just never really bothered looking, I highly recommend you swing by her official website to take a look.
6 pork cutlets, trimmed of fat
300ml premium apple cider, at room temperature
300ml pure or single cream
500g potato gnocchi
2 tbsp seeded mustard
Salt and pepper
Grated parmesan (for serving, optional)
Nigella’s version of the recipe calls for pork chops, and for quite some time this was how I did it. Recently I switched to pork cutlets instead because they seem to have more meat. I’ve also tried it with pork scotch fillet steaks, but there’s just something really satisfying about gnawing on a bone.
If you have a favourite apple cider, just use that. My tastebuds can be a bit particular sometimes (especially when it comes to alcohol), so I always go for a premium cider like Rekordelig or Kopparberg. Basically, if you can taste the apples, then use it.
For those who haven’t had it before, seeded mustard is tangy with a bit of sweetness. I think the seeds are probably only there for aesthetic appeal, so you could probably get away with using any sort of tangy-but-sweet mustard, such as Dijon.
The parmesan cheese was definitely not in Nigella’s recipe but, as I’ve said in the past, eating any sort of pasta dish without parmesan just feels odd to me.
1. Heat some oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat. (Just a plain oil like rice bran or canola, and only maybe a tablespoon or so.)
2. Place the cutlets in a single layer and fry for 5 minutes on each side. (You do not need to add any seasoning at this stage. Nigella usually whacks the heck out of her pork chops with a rolling pin to make them thinner to cook faster, but I’ve never seen any need for this personally.)
3. Remove the cutlets from the pan, wrap them in some foil, then place aside until needed.
4. Pour the cider into the pan (still on medium-high heat) and stir for approx. 30 seconds to deglaze and burn off some of the alcohol.
5. Add the mustard and stir until combined.
6. Add the cream along with a pinch of salt and pepper and stir until combined.
7. When the sauce begins to bubble, turn it down to a medium heat to simmer and reduce, stirring occasionally. (This will take approx. 5 minutes, so move on to Step 8 as soon as you turn down the heat.)
8. While waiting for the sauce to reduce, bring a large-ish pot of salted water to the boil. (This also takes approx. 5 minutes… imagine that!)
9. Once the sauce has reduced, return the cutlets to the pan (along with any juices) and return it to medium-high heat to simmer for around a minute or so.
10. Place the gnocchi into the boiling water.
11. Turn the pork chops and allow to simmer for another minute or so on the other side, then remove from the pan, but leave the pan on the heat.
12. The gnocchi should now be cooked (they will have floated to the surface), so strain them and add to the pan.
13. Stir the gnocchi through the sauce over the heat until coated and sauce has reduced further.
14. Divide the gnocchi between the serving plates, then sprinkle over some pepper and parmesan cheese. (If you aren’t using parmesan, add some salt instead.)
15. Place one or two cutlets on each plate, spoon over some of the remaining sauce, and serve. (Maybe with a simple garden salad on the side if you can be bothered.)
A video of this recipe is also available at - https://youtu.be/HDU1nB9t2Vc.
If you have a recipe to request, it's not too late! Please send me an email and I'll see what I can do.