This recipe is from Fruit: Recipes That Celebrate Nature by Bernadette Wörndl, with photography by Gunda Dittrich (Smith Street Books, © 2018, hardcover, 240 pages, 110 color photographs, $35).
Wörndl writes in the recipe’s headnote:
Roast and caramel flavours combine here with smoky wooden-barrel notes of Cognac and creamy, sour crème fraîche.
[A note from The City Cook: I used pork chops on the bone but this would work just fine with boneless ones. I also used regular shallots but tried to use smaller ones; if you can only find large shallots, just cut them into quarters for a total of 12 pieces.]
- 4 pork cutlets
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bunch sage
- 2 tablespoons clarified butter
- 4 small pears
- 6 French shallots
- 1 garlic clove
- 5 juniper berries
- 5 peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 40 ml (1¼ fl oz) Cognac
- 100 g (3½ oz) crème fraîche
- Preheat the oven to 120°C (250°F) (conventional). Season the cutlets with salt and pepper. Pick the sage leaves. Heat half the clarified butter in a frying pan over high heat. Add the sage leaves and cutlets, and quickly sear the meat on both sides. Transfer the cutlets and sage to an ovenproof dish and cook in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Halve or quarters the pears. Peel and halve the shallots, and bruise the garlic clove. Heat the remaining clarified butter in the same pan and cook the pear, shallot and garlic until golden brown. Add the juniper berries, peppercorns, bay leaf and cognac, and very carefully set alight to burn off the alcohol. Stir in the crème fraîche. Remove the cutlets from the oven and transfer them to the sauce. Spoon the sauce over the cutlets for the flavours to combine, then season with salt and pepper and serve.
- This goes well with creamy polenta or fresh white bread.