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Pork Chop Fricassee with Barley and Morel Mushroom Pilaf
Copyright by Terese Allen

Makes 4 servings

Pork and barley have a wonderful affinity for each other. This is a great family-style dish--all you need is green beans or a tossed salad for an excellent meal.

1 cup dried morels
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Four 1 to 1 1/-2-inch-thick pork chops, brined in heavily salted water 30-60 minutes
1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary or 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 cup medium barley
2 1/2 cups chicken, duck or turkey stock
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

 

morel

Soak mushrooms in 2/3 cup hot water 10 minutes then take them out and rinse them well. Strain the mushroom liquid through a fine-mesh strainer and reserve the liquid.

Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high flame. Add olive oil and brown the chops on both sides (in two batches if necessary to prevent crowding the pan). Transfer chops to a platter.

Reduce heat to low, add shallots, garlic and rosemary or thyme, and cook until partially softened. Stir in mushrooms and cook another couple of minutes. Raise heat to medium, stir in barley and cook, stirring often, for a few minutes to coat the grains with oil. Add strained mushroom liquid, poultry stock and soy sauce and bring mixture to simmer, scraping all the flavorful bits from the bottom of the skillet. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover tightly and simmer 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oven to 350 degrees. Transfer partly cooked barley mixture to a baking dish, place pork chops on top and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake until all the liquid is absorbed, another 30-40 minutes. Serve chops and barley with parsley sprinkled on top.