This summer has been a wet one for many of us in Southwestern Virginia. At our farm the pastures look as green as spring pastures and grazing animals are being treated to lush grass when things are usually brittle and brown. The woods are providing their own treat this wet summer. I recently spent the day foraging for edible fungi with friends and returned home with a bag full of goodies. Chanterelles, Cinnabar chanterelles and black trumpets were the gifts from the woods that day. What joy to see their orange and yellow peeking up from the forest floor! This recipe marries those woodsy, earthy flavors with the quintessential taste of fall- the pork chop.
This recipe is inspired by my friend, Carly Coleman, at VABF-member farm Mountain Run Farm. Until I learned from Carly to braise pork chops I always overcooked them. She wrote the recipe for Eating Local in Virginia by Phyllis Wilson, one of the first books to focus on eating local from Virginia farms.
Pastured Pork Chops and Foraged Mushrooms
Pastured pork chops, as many as you need
2 TBSP lard or butter
vermouth, sweet or dry
foraged mushrooms- I used Chanterelles and Cinnabar Chanterelles
or about 6-8 shiitake mushrooms
Heat a skillet over medium- high heat until the lard or butter sizzles when added to the pan. Sear the pork chops for about 2 minutes on each both side. You may need to do this in batches so you don’t crowd the chops. Crowding the chops will steam them and not sear them. Lower the heat to medium and add enough vermouth to cover the chops. Toss the cleaned mushrooms on the top of the pork chops and cover the skillet. Braise the pork chops and mushrooms for about 25 minutes. Test the chops for doneness and remove them and the mushrooms from the skillet. Deglaze the skillet with a wooden spoon and reduce the cooking liquid to make a nice gravy to serve over the chops and mushrooms. Enjoy!