Braised Pork with Garlic-Sage-Lemon Cream Sauce
When I travel I make use of the time on the road to read through my stack of food magazines, and my list of things I’d like to try making at home grows and grows. Although I keep a running list on my iPad of these inspirations, I find that the list grows faster than I can get to it. But when I landed on a version of this recipe in Food & Wine, I actually tore out the page to remind me to make it as soon as I got back in town. It exceeded my expectations, and was one of those dishes where my husband actually gushed, “This is really good!” That doesn’t happen often (he doesn’t have a broad palate and he isn’t thrilled with food like I am), so there’s a data point for you about the recipe.As a side note before I go on, in order to get that top down photo, I had to shoot the dish on the floor. This is Lucy, her snoot just a foot from the dish, hoping with all her will that I’ll turn my back for just a second so she can dig in. She’s eaten entire chicken carcasses, entire pizzas, and more. I bet you didn’t know food photography was so dangerous, did you? 🙂The original recipe called for simmering meat in cream first, then roasting it, and included a whole head of garlic cut in half that would then presumably require digging out the soft cloves from the wet paper. Always looking for an easy way to get fabulous flavor on a weeknight, I took shortcuts. I combined buttermilk and cream and poured it over the meat in a baking dish. In went several whole cloves of garlic (I so wish I had put a bunch more!), some Parmigiano Reggiano rinds for flavoring, quite a few large sage leaves to infuse the cream, strips of lemon peel on top of the meat, along with a light sprinkling of cheese.I know – this looks disgusting, right? Don’t be fooled though, the meat is fork tender, the sauce is infused with garlic, lemon and sage flavors, and this was a winner. Follow the directions to use the reduced cream sauce to mix with hot egg noodles and serve the meat on top with a garnish of sage – you’ll be thanking me later!
- 2 bone-in pork blade steaks, about 1½ pounds (or use chops)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup low fat buttermilk
- 4+ whole peeled garlic cloves
- Peel from one lemon, cut into thin strips
- 8-12 large fresh sage leaves
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 1 or 2 Parmigiano Reggiano rinds (about 2 inches square or so)
- 4 ounces egg noodles, cooked and drained (reserve some of the pasta cooking water)
- Place the pork into a 13x9x2-inch baking dish and season with salt and pepper. Combine the cream and buttermilk and pour over the meat. Plunge whole garlic cloves into the cream around the meat (you can use several more if you like - they sweeten up while roasting). Place the lemon peel strips on top of the meat, and plunge the sage leaves in the cream around the meat. Sprinkle with grated cheese, and plunge the rinds into the cream around the meat.
- Cover with foil and bake at 325 degrees until fork tender, about 2-3 hours. When tender, remove the meat to a cutting board and remove the garlic cloves (reserve them to eat!). Carefully pour off any fat that has separated and is floating in the pan. Remove and discard the cheese rinds and the sage leaves.
- Add the reduced cream sauce to the hot egg noodles and add enough pasta cooking water to form a nice sauce. Serve the pork and garlic cloves over the creamy noodles and garnish with a sage leaf if desired.
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