Hamilton Chops

Pork chops, served in a creamy shallot sauce, make a tasty supper dish for the whole family. Serve with baked potato slices and braised celery and, to drink, a chilled Mateus Rose.

4 large pork chops

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

4 bacon slices

8 shallots, chopped

8 fl. oz. sour cream

2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

2 teaspoon dry mustard

Preheat the grill to high.

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180=C). Rub the chops with the salt and pepper.

In a large flameproof casserole, melt the butter with the oil over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the chops to the casserole, two or three at a time, and cook them for 5 minutes, or until they are brown on both sides. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chops to a heated platter. Keep them warm while you brown the remaining chops in the same way.

Set the meat aside and keep it warm while you prepare the sauce.

Place the bacon slices on the grill rack and grill them for 4 minutes on each side, or until the slices are crisp. Remove the bacon from the heat and allow to cool. As soon as the bacon is cool enough to handle, crumble the slices between your fingers. Set the crumbled bacon aside.

Add the shallots to the casserole. Reduce the heat to low and cook the shallots for 3 to 4 minutes, or until they are soft and translucent but not brown.

Spoon the sour cream into the casserole and add the nutmeg and mustard. Stir with a wooden spoon until all the ingredients are thoroughly blended. Increase the heat to moderate, and, stirring constantly, cook the sauce for 2 to 3 minutes or until it becomes hot but not boiling and thick and creamy. Remove the pan from the heat.

Add the bacon to the sauce and stir well. Return the pork chops to the casserole and spoon over the sauce.

Cover the casserole and place it in the oven. Braise for 35 minutes, basting occasionally, or until the chops are tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife.

Remove the casserole from the oven and serve immediately.