These breaded pork cutlets in chardonnay cream sauce may sound difficult to make, but they’re as easy as 1-2-3.
Boneless Center Cut Chops
I’ve avoided this cut of chops for ages and only ever bought them if the price was extremely low. Why? Well I always found them dry when cooked or mostly tasteless compared to their bone-in cousins.
This variety of chops was again being sold at a ridiculously low price last week, so I bought a pack. But I didn’t buy a big pack. I figured for that price I could make up some ground pork to use in my Shrimp and Lobster Sauce.
Just happens that this weekend I was remembering a dear and departed friend who was a chef. I remembered Klaus saying he made weiner scnitzel with pork cutlets substituted for veal and that gave me the idea to make cutlets out of those chops!
Pounding Also Tenderizes These Pork Cutlets
As the heading says, pounding meat with a mallet tenderized the meat. That’s the main purpose! I also notice it tenderizes chicken as well.
The other great thing about pounding meat down to a uniform thickness is that it cooks evenly. This is more important for chicken than center-cut boneless pork, but it has advantages for the pork as well. Since the pork is about 1/4-inch thick, it cooks lightening quick and doesn’t have a chance to dry out.
OK, I know they say one-inch chops should cook in about 8-10 minutes and that people overcook pork because old ideas still prevail. My logical side knows this is true, but sorry, I can’t handle pork with pink in the center. I just can’t. But with these cutlets, there is no pink because it’s cooked well, but since it doesn’t cook for long, and it’s breaded to boot, the meat stays juicy.
Nifty Idea I Found
For years, I’ve been pounding meat between 2 pieces of waxed paper. But after about 2 pieces of meat is done this way, the waxed paper begins to fall apart. I’ve also read about using plastic wrap. I never considered it because plastic wrap is a real pain in the neck because it sticks to itself and you can never seem to get a flat piece.
In this cooking course I recently took, the chef used a zipper bag with the zipper part and a small strip from each side cut away. This idea is ingenious! Not only is it neater, but it holds up very well if you have a lot of meat to tenderize. I had a box of cheap freezer zipper bags, so I used those and I recommend using those. Storage bags may not be thick enough to hold up, and the bargain variety most certainly won’t. I consider it overly extravagant to use high-quality freezer bags for something such as this so the cheap freezer bags work pretty well because their thickness is just a tad less than the high-priced brand.
What you end up with is a great little “envelope” to pound down the meat!
Oh That Sauce
It’s no secret that I love cream sauces!
They are so rich and flavorful, they complement any meat. And don’t worry about heavy cream. It doesn’t bite, it’s not poison and it tastes great. So don’t be tempted to substitute skim milk or low-fat milk or even fat-free half-and-half for it. Your sauce will taste terrible if you do.And remember, the serving size is only 2-4 tablespoons of sauce because it has so much flavor that you’re really not eating that much of it. Eat the real thing–it’s always better.
The sauce’s flavor relies on a reduction. While the sauce is very easy, it’s not an instantaneous procedure. Reduction takes a little time, but trust me, it’s worth it.
I added mushrooms because I wanted to use up what I had, but if you hate them, leave them out. The sauce will still taste great.
- 4 boneless center-cut pork chops (about 1-inch thick)
- ½ cup flour
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1½-2 cups seasoned bread crumbs (recipe follows in NOTES)
- 1 cup sliced baby bella mushrooms (see NOTES)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- olive oil for browning
- ¼ cup chardonnay (or any dry white wine)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 3-4 branches fresh thyme or ½ tsp dry
- ½ tbs sugar (see NOTES)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tbs butter
- Juice of ½ a lemon -OR- 1 tbs
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Pound pork with a meat mallet until it’s about ¼-inch thick (see post for the zipper-bag method)
- Dredge each cutlet in flour, then coat with the beaten egg letting excess drip off then dredge in seasoned bread crumbs.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add about 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil to the hot pan. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the pork, browning well on each side. You may have to brown in shifts, so just repeat until all the cutlets are browned.
- Remove cutlets from skillet; add more oil if necessary (about 1 tbs).
- Saute the mushrooms. When they begin to brown, add the garlic.
- Deglaze the skillet with the ¼ cup of chardonnay/ Add the chicken stock, thyme and the sugar. Reduce over medium heat until there’s about ¼ cup of liquid. This will take about 10 minutes.
- Remove the thyme sprigs (if you used fresh) then add the cream, butter and lemon juice. Continue cooking the sauce over medium heat until it’s reduced about 25%. Add any salt and pepper at this point. Alternatively, you can thicken the sauce with 1 tbs flour mixed with 3 tbs water.
- Return pork to skillet to reheat in the sauce.
Seasoned Bread Crumbs 2 cups plain bread crumbs, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper, 2 tbs grated Parmesan cheese. Mix together in a bowl. Extra may be stored in a container in the fridge