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Pork Chops in a Bag with a Mushroom and Crème Fraîche Sauce

Pictured: Pork Chops in a Bag with a Mushroom and Crème Fraîche Sauce

A lovely dinner party recipe - I can prepare everything in advance and let the pork tick away in the oven for its hour of cooking while guests arrive and settle in - the pork can happily rest a while in the individual packages, so timing is relaxed. Then you have the wonderful serving style where each person opens up their own little bag to wonderful aromas and tender pork.

I first cooked this recipe in London 2001 and is based on a recipe in the Delia Smith website, where she states - "This recipe first appeared in Sainsbury’s Magazine (Guide to Meat Cookery)."

6 large pork loin chops
2 tbsp dried porcini mushrooms 
250 ml crème fraîche 
50 g butter 
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme, plus 6 sprigs, to garnish 
350 g mushrooms, roughly chopped
juice 1 large lemon 
1½ tbsp plain flour 
salt and pepper 

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C , 350°F, gas mark 4
Straight away - rehydrate the porcini mushrooms in a small bowl by pouring on enough boiling water just to cover them, then leave them to soak for 20 minutes. Drain well and chop.
Place six sheets of foil, reinforced by folding in two layers and large enough to wrap each chop in, out on the bench. 
In a large frying pan, melt the butter and fry the chops to a nice, nutty, golden colour on both sides. As you brown them, transfer them on to each foil, season each well and sprinkle on the thyme. 
Fry the mushrooms in the same pan you browned the meat in, adding a little more butter if necessary. When the juices start to run, add the drained porcini mushrooms and the lemon juice. Let this bubble for about 1 minute, then sprinkle in the flour and stir well with a wooden spoon – this is a thickener for the sauce that the crème fraiche will smooth out in the end.
Spoon the mushroom mixture evenly over the pork chops, top each one with a large dolop of crème fraîche and a sprig of thyme, then wrap each one up loosely in the foil, sealing securely. 
Bake in the oven for 1 hour.
Serve the chops on 6 individual plates – preferably with a little lip, allowing them to be opened by each guest at the table – all the juices and delicious sauce are then safely held together with the pork.
Serve with mashed potato and steamed greens.
Serves 6