11 May 2011

Pork Scallops Smothered in Onion Mustard Sauce

I have been on strike as far as cooking goes for the past several days ... sorry, SB! Sorry, all! Consequently, my kitchen fridge is nearly depleted, there is no bread to be had, and we're down to a few vegetables and condiments. Of course, I left all the beautiful herbs and fresh produce that I picked up at Union Square at Kate's apartment in Brooklyn. We came home to Old Mother Hubbard's cupboard!

Do you ever do that? Run out of cooking steam and just forage for a few days until the urge to cook or bake returns to normal levels? Well, obviously I do! Today, however, I woke up feeling sorry for Silent Bob, so I baked bread and planned a nice dinner for him. I've fallen in love with pork tenderloins of late, but roasting season is past, so tonight I made a light mustard sauce and did a quick fry of a few pork scallops that I'd cut from a tenderloin. I finished them in the oven with a creamy mustard sauce, made around some slivered and sauteed onions and garlic. The plates were dressed with a simple herbed potato mash and some steamed broccoli. There was a bottle of Cabernet for sipping ... life was, and continues to be good. Nothing like pulling dinner out of the hat.

Heck, I even had a pretty dish in which to serve the pork ... a recent steal on Ebay. What a pretty 'empty vessel'!

So, the thing about this dinner is that it lives up to my recent mantra - 'Cut the portions and work immediately with the leftovers!' I used half of a small pork tenderloin and froze the other half. Okay, I ran out for this one major ingredient, as well as the bread flour for SB's bread.

This recipe originally called for loin pork chops, but I am a brat when it comes to pork and love a smooth, tender piece of tenderloin over any other pork cut. So ... I sliced off thick scallops. These were just over an inch thick. Then, I pounded them out a bit with my high tech measuring cup and plastic bag apparatus.

This advanced procedure doubled the size of the pork scallops and made them about one third of an inch thick. I salted and peppered them, dipped them in flour and left them to soak up the flour coating while I chopped a large onion and a large clove of garlic, peeled potatoes for the mash and chopped broccoli into small florets for steaming. Meanwhile the bread was doing its thing. Did I mention that I was making bread while I was in the midst of dinner prep?

After I got the potatoes simmering their way toward soft heaven, I browned the pork in a bit of olive oil. Now, when I say browned, I mean I had the heat way up high and I slapped them into the pan and left them for exactly four minutes per side. Then, I pulled them off the heat and transferred them into the pretty 'empty vessel'. The pan went back on the heat and the onions got a fast saute with a bit more olive oil and a good pinch of brown sugar to help them caramelize. Then, I added the garlic for a bit of saute.

Here's where the sauce comes in. That leftover flour from dredging got added pinch by pinch until I had the onions, garlic, and oil bubbling like a proper roux. Then, I added an infusion of chicken broth, lemon peel, thyme, and bay leaf that I'd put together while the onions and garlic were cooking. I just used my hand to sieve the herbs and peels out as I poured the broth into the roux. Then, I added leftover dry white wine, but you could use a bit of cider if you want a sweeter sauce.

This got stirred until it started to thicken up a bit. Then, I added a bit of heavy cream and some whole grain mustard - the kind with little 'frog egg seeds' that pop when you chew into them! I love that kind of mustard! There is a glaring lack of photos here because I was too busy taking my bread out of the oven so that I could put the pork scallops and accompanying mustard onion sauce in ... plus I was so pleased with the bread that I was snapping pictures of it. Talk about multi-tasking! I finally had to stack the breads and get on with finishing the meal!

So ... into the oven with the pork and onion mustard sauce. Mash the taters and chop fresh herbs to add ... I actually cut fresh chives from the terrace herb bed! Huzzah! Steam the broccoli, dish things up and ... voila! Dinner on the table. Silent Bob decanting wine. Happy, happy, joy, joy!

I admit it. I ate my first bite of dinner, while I took photos! Hiel and I always wish each other a ' Guten Appetit' before we dig in, but I totally scammed him tonight. Sorry, Bub! It smelled sooo good and it was smothered under all those onions and I wanted folks to see the loveliness of the pork scallops and, and, and ...

Pork Scallops in Onions and Mustard - printer friendly

Pork Scallops Smothered in Onions and Mustard Sauce
adapted from a recipe in complete Comfort Food

5 pork tenderloin slices, 1 – 1½ inch thick
flour for dredging
salt and pepper
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 large Vidalia onion
pinch brown sugar
1 large garlic clove
½ c. dry white wine or dry hard cider
½ c. chicken broth
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 shavings of lemon peel
1 bay leaf
½ c. heavy cream
1 -2 tbsp. whole grain mustard
fresh parsley, chopped for garnish

Making the Dish:

1. Place the pork scallops into a plastic bag and pound each until it is ⅓ inch thick.

2. Salt and pepper each side of the pork scallops and dredge in flour to coat it.

3. Place the hot chicken broth in a dish and place the lemon peel, thyme and bay leaf into the broth, stir and press the herbs and lemon to release their bouquet and leave the broth to become thoroughly infused.

4. Slice the onion into thin slivers and mince the garlic.

5. Heat 2 tbsp. of the oil in a non-stick pan and when it is very hot lay the pork scallops in the pan and brown for exactly 4 minutes per side. Remove to a shallow casserole pan and set aside.

6. Add the other 1 tbsp. olive oil to the hot pan and do a fast sauté of the onion. Add a pinch of brown sugar. When the onion begins to brown at the edges, add the garlic and cook for just a minute, adding enough of the leftover flour to make a proper roux that bubbles and froths.

7. Add the dry wine and strained chicken broth, stirring until thickened slightly.

8. Add the cream and mustard and lower the heat, stirring to incorporate.

9. Pour the sauce and onions over the pork scallops and place in a 350° F oven for 15 to 20 minutes – just until the meat is re-heated and the sauce bubbles at the edges of the pan.

10. Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley and serve with mashed potatoes and a side vegetable.


  1. are you some kind of superwoman?... I love the look of those pork medallions, I bet they add a tonne of flavour too.... I love the way youve stacked the bread, so 'country kitchen' it looks like you're kitchen is auditioning for some kind of 'perfect homes and gardens' magazine shoot!... simply lovely (i'm buying my plane tickets as we speak... hope the martini glasses are on ice!!!)

  2. Cute "empty vessel" Susan! And your bread looks yummy! This reminds me that I need to try that mashed potato seasoning you sent me soon. I might just do that this weekend :-)

  3. Yikes! Talk about being a kitchen wizard, I'm exhausted just reading about what you did! Everything looks just delicious!

  4. Yes. I love cooking (that's possibly an understatement) but there are times when I also don't feel like cooking and just want to eat out or order a take away :)
    This pork dish looks absolutely delicious. I'll be coming around with Dom... hehe..


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