Pork chops with brussels sprouts
I’m sure you can remember the fact that I complain on a regular basis that the food we can get in Almere (where I live) is really not the best. With the exception of a few stores, there is literally only supermarkets in our area. Ridiculous but true. And while supermarkets these days have far better selections then they used to have, to find any good piece of meat you really have to go outside of the city boundaries. Today we decided to pay a visit to de Lindenhoff, which is a rather famous farm who supplies a lot of meat to restaurants in the Netherlands. It is also a place where you can buy the famous Baambrugs pig. Well, it is located in Baambrugge so that would make sense, right? It’s not exactly next door, but definitely worth the trip.
We didn’t really know what to expect when we went there as I had only heard about it and read about it, but boy we were pleasantly surprised! We walked into the “Marche” where they have an assortment of biological vegetables of which we bought some, plus some really good sourdough bread. I bought chestnuts as well, although I have never made anything with them, but I am sure I can think of something good. When we walked into the butcher area there was so much that I think we looked a little lost. So when one of the guys behind the counter asked us if he could help, we explained that this was our first time, and he immediately volunteered to tell us more about the meat and their specifics. He walked around to our side of the counter and started to explain what the different types of meat were. Obviously they had pig of two varieties; Baambrugs pig and Gasconne pig which are raised on the farm. Then they had beautiful pieces of lamb, all locally raised and farmed and also some other lamb that was imported from France. I sort of forgot what the difference was between the two. Then the beef also raised on the farm. The calfs are brought up for about 8 months where they live with their mums, so unlike ‘regular’ calfsmeat it was much darker. The calf basically eats the same natural food that it’s mum is served (grains and grass) and walks around freely in the meadows with their mums and the pigs and sheep that are raised there as well. So very animal friendly.
Even the fact that they take the time to talk to you and let you know what each piece is, was great. I wanted to make a stew so we bought a piece of beef for that, plus we bought two beautiful pork chops that will be eaten tonight with brussels sprouts and potatoes. I mean to be honest; I hate brussels sprouts, but Tom’s loves them, so I figured I give it another try. To be fair to the little green devils; I’ve only ever had them made by my mom, who was certainly not the person with the most imagination when it came to cooking. So we had them cooked, period… Nothing added, nothing done to them, just completely overcooked… Blegghhh… Terrible! I’ve found a recipe that I quite like on the website of Kay who runs a gorgeous blog, so if you haven’t checked it out, go and have a look. Awesome photos too!! I will let you know how it turns out!
Now as we speak the pork is slowly cooking in the oven. I also have a confession to make as I really do not know that much about meat. I hardly ever eat a real piece of meat other then chicken, ground beef or sausages. Part of that is due to the fact that to get good meat we have to travel, so it is simply more convenient to not eat it at all. So I lack exercise. And the second reason is that I am not a big meat eater in general anyway. I love vegetables, rice and well a little chicken or
so thrown in for good measure, but you will rarely see me eat pieces of meat such as we are having tonight.
So what were the results??
Mmm, I tried the sprouts and I guess I still am not a big fan of them, although they were certainly not as terribly mushy as my mum used to make them. The meat good have been seasoned better. It was a 100 times more tastier then a regular porkchop bought in the supermarket let me assure you of that, but I feel we could have made so much more out of it. So we did make ourselves a promise that we will get better at this and learn more about how to handle proper meat. The meat is obviously not cheap, but since we are not going to be eating it every day or even every week, I feel we can probably squeeze it in our budget.. 🙂
The final photos of the meal were terrible since the light has gone and now that we are back on wintertime, it will only get worse, but just for your eyes only… here is the plate…
And yes, we forgot to make a sauce…. Duh… 🙁 Improvement point for next time.
We prepared the meat by first using it’s own fat to quicky brown it in, then it was transferred to an ovendish and put into the oven at 100C. It stayed there for a little over an hour and it could have done with a few more minutes. It was cooked, but some of the sides next to the bone where still a little too red for my taste. Now if anyone has any good tips on how to make the most of this meat, please let me know!
We’re quite anxious to learn more!
So I am ending with a photo of Gizmo who is never far from our cooking adventures and always anxious to learn what she will be getting later on for leftovers… (and she loooooved the pork!)