Are you tired of cooking your pork chop the same exact way every time? Here is a quick and easy recipe popular in the South of France made with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. All you need is good mustard, olive oil, sage, ground fennel seeds, and obviously some tasty pork chops. I used Tamworth – Hereford mixed pork that was pastured in the Wallowa Valley by Carman Ranch and luckily now you can buy the same pork online.
These days it’s easier for anyone with an internet connection to have broader access to a wide palate of food raised by small farmers and ranchers like Carman Ranch than what is generally found in a traditional grocery store chain. I first tried Cory Carman’s grass-fed beef at the Saturday Portland farmers market and was extremely happy when Cory Carman struck a deal with Foods In Season (where I work) that allowed us to offer the beef on a national level to our 12,000 chefs.
Cory Carman’s belief in the ecological and health benefits of grassfed beef brought her home to the pristine pastures of Wallowa County in 2003. After graduating from Stanford University with an environmental policy degree, and working in public policy in Washington DC, Cory set her sights on transitioning the ranch where her family has lived and raised cattle for more than 100 years, to 100% grassfed beef.
Not all pork was created equal
For a long time, Cory raised a handful of pigs just for her family but now started to offer crossbreeds to the general public. Last week she sent a box of samples for us to try. I love the Tamworth-Hereford cross they offer because both breeds have some great traits you can taste in the end product. Tamworths are known for their depth of flavor largely due to their propensity to forage. Herefords are known for well-marbled meat with rich and robust flavors. Cory reported “Our production began slowly, with the purchase of a Tamworth sow and the purpose of filling our own freezer with a supply of healthy tasty pork. We were extremely pleased with the first litter (sired by Andy, a Hereford boar) and with our discovery that the pigs could benefit the ranch’s prairies by rooting out invasive weeds and allowing native grasses the chance to re-establish themselves. After we move the pigs to fresh grazing areas, we replant the loosened soil with native grasses, and the pigs go to work on a new area.” Her pigs are pastured on alfalfa, clover, triticale, oats, various grasses, and roots. Their diet includes nuts and seeds, and leftover veggies from their garden, as well as non-GMO, locally raised barley and a mineral supplement. They are raised sustainably as part of the Carman Ranch holistic ranching ecosystem and harvested with care and compassion.
Cooking over an open fire
There is something very primal about cooking over an open fire that speaks to my soul. The smoke and flames lend such a beautiful flavor and texture that roasting or sauteeing simply can’t. It also offers a fantastic opportunity to get outside and have a glass of wine in the beautiful Fall air.
This is a quick dish perfect for a busy work schedule. Or save for next weekend and make a party out of it. Tag us at #pistouandpastis so we can see your pork chops too.
Grilled Pork Chop with Sage, Mustard, and Fennel Seed
a simple French preparation for pork chops
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup Faillot mustard
- 2 sprigs sage pull leaves off and chop
- 1 tsp ground fennel seeds
- sea salt and black pepper
- 4 thick pork chops
Mix olive oil, mustard, sage, fennel seed, and salt/pepper.
Brush on both sides of pork and let marinate for a while.
Build a hot charcoal or wood fire and grill pork till cooked, about 15 minutes.