Sumac-Rubbed Pork Rib Chops with Stout-&-Mushroom Sauce

Hiver 2017
food and drink

BY: Tonia Wilson-Vuksanovic

Sumac, the ground-up berries of the sumac plant is a wonderful spice used throughout the Middle East. It adds a bright lemony note to food, along with a certain earthiness. When purchasing pork chops, be sure that the four chops will fit comfortably in the pan, allowing you to cook them all at once.

2 tsp (10 mL) fresh thyme, coarsely chopped
¼ cup (60 mL) vegetable oil
Freshly ground black pepper
4 thick-cut pork rib chops, each 7 oz (200 g), about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick
2 tbsp (30 mL) unsalted butter
1 cup (250 mL) shallots, peeled and thinly sliced (or finely chopped Spanish onion)
2 tbsp (30 mL) fresh sage, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp (30 mL) all-purpose flour
5 oz (150 g) assorted mushrooms, stems removed (tested recipe used cremini, shiitake and oyster)
½ cup (125 mL) stout
1 tsp (5 mL) dark soy sauce
1 cup (250 mL) beef stock
Polenta (recipe follows)


1. In a large plastic freezer bag, stir together sumac, thyme, 2 tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil and a generous grinding of black pepper. Add pork and massage mixture into the meat to distribute evenly. Let marinate in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

2. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat, add shallots and sage and cook until softened and golden, about 10 minutes. Lower heat and stir in flour until well-combined, about 30 seconds.

3. Stir in mushrooms to combine. Slowly add stout, soy sauce and beef stock while stirring to avoid lumps. Increase heat until bubbling and thickened, then lower heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside while preparing Polenta and rib chops.

4. Once Polenta is prepared, heat remaining 2 tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet.

5. Generously season pork with salt and cook chops on one side until golden, about 5 minutes. Turn pork over and cook until browned on second side and meat is cooked through, about another 5 minutes.

6. Set chops aside, tented in foil. Pour any cooking juices from skillet into mushroom sauce, warm through and check sauce for seasoning. If sauce is too thick, add a drop of water to thin.

7. To serve, place Polenta on plate, top with a pork chop and a good amount of sauce overtop.


Serves 4

Polenta is simply a porridge made from ground cornmeal. The key to making it properly is to season it well and create a creamy texture. It should act as a neutral backdrop to a rich flavourful sauce, in this case the stout and-mushroom sauce. Prepare the Polenta just prior to cooking the rib chops.

5 cups (1.25 L) water
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
1 cup (250 mL) fine-ground cornmeal
1 tbsp (15 mL) unsalted butter


1. In a large pot, bring water and salt to a boil over high heat, then lower heat to simmer.

2. Using a whisk, slowly add cornmeal to water in a gradual stream, similar to sand in an hour glass. Continue whisking until all the cornmeal has been added and the mixture begins to thicken.

3. Switch to a wooden spoon and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. The cornmeal should absorb all the liquid and retain a creamy consistency. Stir in the butter. Cover and set aside. It will retain its heat until it is to be served.


Serves 4

What to Serve