When G and I were on our bike trip on France, we stopped at a little restaurant in a little town at the very end of lunch time. The owner at first said that he couldn't serve us, then that he could be we'd have to hurry hurry. Fine, fine, we'll hurry hurry... So we ordered and whatever we had ordered off the menu wasn't available, so out came two lunch specials. After about half an hour. Because we we're on French countryside hurry hurry time!
That lunch was probably one of the most memorable of my entire life. I was hot and sweaty from riding, and it was the long day and I was in a bit of a panic that I wouldn't be able to ride that far, etc. So the food came and it was like being transported to heaven!
The dish was a veal chop with a lardon and mushroom sauce. Oh my stars.
So I wanted to make it at home. But I really didn't think that it could be made without the lardons, so I have just sort of never made it. Until G had to take a trip to Calgary, and I had to stuff my face.
The Cumbrae's didn't have the "red" or "rose" veal, which is supposedly reared very humanely, so I opted for a bit fat pork loin chop. Got some smokey lardons, a fabulous bunch of mushrooms, and some beautiful mini Yukon gold potatoes. And then the dream became reality.
The pork is under the massive pile of mushroom sauce.
It was amazing. And far too much food. And it transported me back to France and made me really yearn to get out in the world again, it's been far too long since I've left this continent!
How did I recreate the masterpiece?
Well... pull up a chair... because it's a story not a recipe...
I put the potatoes in boiling water. Let them soften, then cut in half and mixed with my home-made butter (see below) and salt and pepper. Fine. During that whole process, I seared the pork loin chop in a hot pan with a butter and oil mix. I let it get good and brown, then I put it on a plate in an oven warmed to around 250 and then turned off.
I put a little bit of wine in the pan to deglaze and added the lardon, and then some shallot and mushrooms. I let it all cook together and then I added a teensy splash more wine, salt and pepper, a teensy spoonful of dijon mustard, and some cream. I let thicken a bit and then I put the pork back in the pan. I let it all cook together and then I turned it out on a plate...
It was absolutely delicious. It was an amazing lunch, and I really enjoyed it. I couldn't believe how amazing it was, and I am such a fan of lardon. And France. And pork. Oh yeah.