Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Pork Chop a la Sliven










     Classic Bulgarian Comfort Food!
     Pork is popular in Bulgaria.  In fact, Bulgaria produces some of the highest quality pork and pork products in the world.  When seeking a new or different way to prepare pork in the home kitchen, Bulgarian cuisine is a great resource to look into.
     Sliven is a very old Bulgarian community and the local cuisine is unique.  Pork chops in the style of Sliven is a tradional recipe that is well known.  The pork chop and vegetables are sautéed and then slowly braised in a covered baking dish or pan.  A minimum of seasoning is used in this recipe, because the natural flavors of the vegetables and pork take center stage.
     Sliven cuisine has old Roman and Slavic influences.  Greek spices are not usually used for recipes in Sliven region of Bulgaria.  The key rich flavors of this pork chop recipe come from the aromatic mirepoix vegetables, tomato and mushrooms.  When the pork chop is done braising, the vegetables become the thick sauce that cling to the pork chop.  

     Bulgarian Pork Chop a la Sliven: 
     This recipe yields 1 entrée.
     Step 1:  Select a large 10 to 12 ounce Pork Chop.
     Lightly season with sea salt and black pepper.
     Step 2:  Heat a sauté pan (or sauteuse pan) over medium heat.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of blended olive oil.
     Place the pork chop in the hot oil.
     Pan sear the pork chop on both sides till a few golden brown highlights appear.
     Step 3:  Add 1/3 cup of diced carrot.
     Add 1/3 cup of diced celery.
     Add 1/3 cup of diced onion.
     Add 2 minced garlic cloves.
     Sauté and stir till the vegetables start to become tender.
     Step 4:  Add 3 tablespoons of chopped Portobello Mushroom.
     Add 1 fluted small Portobello Mushroom.  (This mushroom will be used as a garnish!)
     Sauté and stir till the mushrooms are tender.
     Step 5:  Add 1/3 cup of diced ripe Plum Tomato.
     Sauté till the tomato starts to become tender.
     Step 6:  Add 1 pinch of chopped Italian Parsley.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
     Add 3/4 cup of dry white wine.
     Add enough water to almost cover the pork chop.
     Bring the liquid to a gentle boil.
     Step 7:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Cover the sauté pan with a loose fitting lid.
     Place the partially covered pan in a 325ºF oven.
     Bake the pork chop for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
     Allow the excess liquid to evaporate, so the vegetable sauce becomes thick enough to cling to the pork chop.  (Only add water if the sauce starts to become dry before the pork chop is tender.)
     Step 8:  Remove the pan from the oven.
     Set the pork chop on a plate.
     Spoon the thick sauce over the pork chop.
     Place the decorative cooked fluted mushroom garnish on top of the pork chop.
     *Serve with buttered boiled potatoes that are seasoned with sea salt, black pepper and chopped Italian Parsley.
     Garnish the plate with an Italian Parsley sprig.

     Pork Chop a la Sliven has a gentle hearty flavor that will please guests!      

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