2 (1-inch) thick, bone-in pork chops
Freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces mushrooms, such as cremini, oyster or shiitake
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 leeks, cleaned and sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup roasted piquillo or red peppers, sliced
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
4 ounces mascarpone or cream cheese
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
2 cups baby spinach
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
The creamy, tangy, cheesy and umami-rich mushroom and mustard mascarpone pan sauce is the ideal complement to perfectly seared thick pork chops. Searing the chops first in a stainless steel sauté pan results in a delicious fond (the delightful brown bits) on the bottom of the pan that helps add depth and flavor to the sauce. The addition of some baby spinach tossed in to the sauce at the end turns this recipe into an easy one-pan meal. Serve with plenty of French bread for scooping up the sauce.
Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a stainless steel sauté pan and set over medium heat. Season the outside of the pork chops with salt and pepper. Once the pan is hot, add the pork chops. Sear on each side until golden brown and cooked through, about 8-10 minutes per side. Remove the chops from the pan and set aside. Cover with foil to keep warm.
Add the mushrooms to the pan and sauté until browned and softened, about 5 minutes. Remove the mushrooms and set aside with the pork. Add the butter to the pan and allow to melt. Add the leeks to the pan along with a pinch of salt. Sauté until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, peppers and white wine to the pan. Simmer until the white wine is reduced in half, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer.
Add the cheese and mustard to the pan. Simmer, stirring, until the cheese is melted and combined, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach and toss to combine. Simmer until wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir in the parmesan cheese, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the pork chops along with any pan juices back to the pan to simmer until warmed through before serving, about 5 minutes.