Simple French Cooking At Home – Pork Français

A recipe and easy to follow guide to help you recreate some simple French cooking at home.

This dish is a reflection of the simplicity of French cooking, a step-by-step guide to making a memorable and high quality dish at home. Therefore, whatever your cooking standard, this one pan dish will have your guests purring at your prowess in the kitchen; or outdoors on a beautiful summer evening; purely because cooking should be varied and above all…fun.

This meal is simple French cooking at its best, a one pan dish easily re-created at home, so you spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying.

Last summer, myself and my now wife Jodi, spent a few weeks driving from the North to the South of France.  Purely because we were in search of culinary adventure, for simple French cooking ideas, because we want to create at home and share. This trip was a complete justification for how France handles its food and wine.  Both are a national obsession and its hard to find a sub-standard meal and glass of wine anywhere; not that we tried.

Wonderful French Food

Simple French Cooking at Home
A wonderful dish in the pan ready to serve.

When we arrived in the South of France, late in the evening, weary from hours on the road; we made a bee-line for a beach side restaurant and ordered two of the specials on the little chalk board menu brought to all diners.  This dish was simply called Porc Spècial, or Special Pork; a dish I have reworked slightly given that we are in the English Riviera at the moment.  When cooking, I really want to use local ingredients when cooking because it boosts the local economy and helps producers hugely. In this case, I have replaced white wine for cider and button mushrooms for chestnut.  In honour of this dish, holding a special memory as a first meal of a destination often can, we have named this dish Pork Français.

As the meal was served in an efficiently nonchalant French style, I was blown away by the colours on the plate. Upon eating, I was impressed by array of flavours, the simplicity of the meal and it therefore inspired a search for recipes of the same stature, the same level of taste and simplicity; the very inspiration behind this blog.

Simple French Cooking At home

For a step-by-step video guide, to help you recreate this simple French cooking recipe at home (and for many more recipes), please visit our Absolute Foody You Tube Channel. Or click on the content below to see this meal being made.

A step-by-step guide to making this dish and some simple French cooking at home

Pork Français – The Ingredients for this simple French dish

1 x Large handful of Almonds

2 x Pork Steaks or thick cut Pork Chops

Tip – To make this meal serve 4, double the amount of meat and serve with a side dish

2 x Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 And a 1/2 large Onion(s)

6 x Chestnut mushrooms

2 x Generous knobs of butter (salted)

5 x Cloves of Garlic 

2 x Pink Lady Apples

200ml of Scrumpy Cider (or use what you can get)

150ml Extra thick cream

Simple French Cooking At Home
This is an incredible one pan dish that will have you falling in love with food again; simple French Cooking at home.

Pork Français – The Method

  1. To make this dish dice the onions, garlic, mushrooms and break up the almonds into smaller pieces. 
  2. Toast the almonds on a dry hot pan (medium heat) and toast until brown and fragrant; taking care not to burn.
  3. Remove the almonds from the heat and return the pan to the flame, cranking up to a high heat.
  4. Then add the oil and fry the pork for 4 minutes each side until golden brown and set aside.
  5. Reduce heat to medium and add the butter, allow to melt into foaming deliciousness, adding the onions and garlic.
  6. Fry onions and garlic until softened then add the mushrooms, frying for a few minutes until softened.
  7. Then add the cider and bring to the simmer, cranking the heat up if needed. Slice the apples while the cider is heating up.
  8. Add the apples for a few minutes and then gently stir in the cream, enjoying the luxury of the sauce as it starts to thicken and come together.
  9. Add the pork to the pan and season well with pepper and a little salt (low sodium 👍)
  10. Turn the meat and cook in the bubbling sauce for a couple more minutes and bring the bubbling pan to the table and serve.
  11. Serve with fresh crusty bread, use it to mop up the delicious creamy sauce.
  12. Add s side of green vegetables if you want to bulk the meal up – Asparagus goes very well with this dish, use some of the almonds and a little lemon and you will have a great side to serve up.
Simple French Cooking at Home
All you need is a single pan for this simple French style cooking dish.

This is an amazing example of what can be achieved with one pan and some simple ingredients.

Bon Apetit!

More One Pan Dishes

For another one pan dish idea please Click Here for an incredible Paella recipe.

How To Make Devilishly Dirty Fries

Disclaimer – this recipe and the process of making it are a lot of fun. Set aside an hour, put on your favourite music, fix yourself a drink. Enjoy the process of cooking and eating and I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did.

Treat Saturday

We were driving away for the weekend and myself and Jodi discussed what to cook, on what has become known as “Treat Saturday”.

The premise being to eat relatively healthy all week and then on Saturday, throw caution to wind and have some fun. In fact, the fun food aspect was the inspiration behind this blog. Cook with your heart, enjoy the process and all of its delights and then revel in the end product.

Needless to say, Jodi had a glint in her eye before she uttered the magic words “dirty fries”. I nodded with a smile, as a child would when a parent suggests ice cream.

It then dawned on me that this is something I had never cooked before, and after some careful thought; settled on a tantalising recipe; working out how to make dirty fries. Then settling on the basis of using three different types of cheese.

I love the concept of multiple cheeses, purely because it’s devilish and sits superbly with a treat Saturday. Then I thought of how well nachos are smothered and the rest of the recipe practically wrote itself:

Dirty Fries Ingredients

✓ Chips or Fries (300g)

✓ Garlic and Herb Seasoning (1 tablespoon)

✓ Monterey Jack Cheese (125g)

✓ Medium Cheddar Cheese (125g)

✓ Buffalo mozzarella (1 ball)

✓ Jalapeños (handful)

✓ Bacon (4 rashers)

✓ BBQ sauce (4 tablespoons)

✓ 3 x Spring onions

✓ Sour cream to serve (1 Tablespoon)

✓ Sirloin Steak

✓ 2 x Free Range Eggs

✓ Garlic and Herb Seasoning

✓ Olive Oil (good glug)

✓ Salt and Pepper

✓ Chives

The above recipe includes a sirloin steak and a fried egg. A simple and superb combination to sit next to our dirty fries.

The Method

Buffalo Mozzarella has caught me out over the years, leaking water into recipes, acting as a kind of a saboteur of sorts. So beforehand, drain of fluid, wrap in a couple of layers of paper towel and place in a colander – on a plate or bowl. Place something heavy on the top and leave for half an hour or so.

Then it’s time to start chopping. Finely slice the spring onions and chives. Cut the Monterey Jack into cubes and grate the cheddar.

Put the chips in the oven to cook and slice the bacon into thick chunks so it retains its form in the mix.

Once the chips are two thirds cooked take them out and add the bacon and throw back in the over for 10 mins. Then take out and add the seasoning and toss it all together. Then add half the BBQ Sauce. It’s then time for the cheeses – ripping the Mozzarella into smaller chunks and spreading over the chips and bacon; followed by the Cheddar and then the Jack – spread evenly.

Then drizzle the remaining BBQ Sauce, add the Jalapeños, spring onions and chives and put back in the oven on a low heat until the steaks are done.

Season the steak well on both sides with salt and pepper, put a dry pan on the heat and get it smoking hot. Add the oil to the pan and then the steaks frying for approximately 2.5 minutes on each side and then turn on each side for a minute more and rest. This is to get Sirloin steaks medium rare, to caramelise the fats and leave you with a juicy pink middle.

I used to have all of my steak rare, but now tweak this based on the cut of meat. For sirloin, it has to be medium rare. It works so well with the cut.

Turn the heat off the pan and crack two eggs in and let them cook while you get your Dirty fries out of the oven.

Place them on the table and let your guests help themselves, add the egg(s) to the plate with the steak. Table the sour cream to add as required.

After The Meal

I really loved cooking this dish, I think that the blend of the three cheeses worked beautifully together. The cool creamy mozzarella blends beautifully with the middle of the road taste and texture of the Jack and then the richness of the cheddar. It’s nice to get all of the ingredients together and then throw them on the chips.

Make dirty fries as something a little different for a bbq. Or just to treat yourself as required.

Watch On You Tube

To watch a video of this dish being made, please check out our vlog

The finished plate of dirty fries

Paella – The Undisputed Champion of One Pan Dishes

The experience of being in Spain, above all, inspired my love of food.

Absolute Foody

I have always been a fan of Spanish cuisine, the staple dishes of which are often built upon good, simple ingredients; but also scalability. The pressing need to feed a large family with what’s in the cupboard, is essentially the basis behind Paella, and many other Mediterranean masterpieces.

When I was in university, I was privileged to have spent a couple of summers in Spain. Living with a family where quality time together, was as highly valued as quality food. I would spend weeks with them and scarcely ate the same meal twice. Food preparation was effortless as magical scents permeated the house. Spending warm summers evenings dining outside is something I want to pass to my family, not just as a lifestyle but as a way of us spending quality time together.

I love the idea of dishes like Paella, one simmering pan feeding a family or group of friends. Served with Some crusty bread and some good wine. What could be better on a summers evening.

The colours and scents of a dish of simmering Paella is such a treat to the senses

This experience of being in Spain, above all, inspired my love of food. In tribute to Francesca (or Pacqui), this dish is my take on Paella – not made with specific scientific measurements, or fancy gadgets, but made with heart and soul…enjoy.

To view this recipe being made, please check out our vlog – Paella Francesca (Serves 4)

Ingredients

2 x Tablespoons of Olive Oil

3 x Small Onions Chopped

8 x Large Prawns (shells on)

Parsley (good hand full)

Chorizo (400g)

Paella Rice (300g) or Risotto Rice

2 x Tablespoons (level) of Smoked Paprika

1 x Saffron (I normally use a whole container)

Chicken Stock (900ml)

1 x Red Pepper

2 x Chicken Breasts

1 x Lemon (Quarter to Serve)

Seafood Mix (400g)

Green Beans, Or Peas (300g)

The Method

Add the oil to a large pan and bring to a medium heat. Dice the chicken, garlic and onions and slice the chorizo. Add to the heat and closely fry to soften and reduce the onions and garlic. You should see the chorizo begin to sizzle lightly and the chicken.

Then dice the red pepper and roughly chop the parsley adding to the pan with the green beans. I find this mix balances the sharpness of the chorizo and helps set of a colourful mix; pleasing to all the senses.

Gently fry the mix while making the chicken stock and add the saffron to the stock and allow to infuse while you add the rice to the pan and mix well with the other ingredients. Add the seafood mix but not the prawns.

Add 3/4 of the stock to the pan and again mix well. The aim here is to create a velvety thick sauce while cooking the rice and ensuring the meat is cooked perfectly and retains moisture. When the sauce is beginning to run dry add more of the stock until the rice is cooked. Then add the prawns and cook until pink.

Then you are ready to serve with a sprig of any leftover parsley and a couple of lemon quarters. The rule I was taught is to squeeze the first quarter lemon over the first half and the 2nd quarter lemon over the 2nd half. Adding the citrus to the meal makes the flavours come alive beautifully.

We had this with an ice cold beer and rustic Garlic bread.

Me Gusto Mucho