Pork Shoulder Chops with White Wine and Prunes

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By James Peterson

Published 1991

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This French country dish demonstrates an excellent method for braising. Here we use shoulder chops, which require long braising; if you’re using loin chops, short braise them by cooking them only long enough for the heat to penetrate them. Here the garniture is simple, prunes steeped in water, then simmered in white wine (traditionally Vouvray), but this dish is a model for braising shoulder chops and can be garnished with virtually anything.


shoulder pork chops 6 large 6 large
salt and pepper to taste to taste
oil 3 tbsp 45 ml
butter oz 45 g
carrot, chopped 1 medium 1 medium
onion, chopped 1 medium 1 medium
dry or semi-dry white wine such as vouvray 1 cup 250 ml
chicken stock, preferably concentrated (about 4 times), or water 2 cups 500 ml
large bouquet garni 1 1
prunes, pitted 1 cup 250 ml
heavy cream 1 cup 250 ml


  1. Season the chops with salt and pepper. Brown them in the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan over high heat. Put the chops on a plate and pour the oil out of the pan. Add the butter, carrots, and onions to the pan and cook gently for about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the chops back to the pan and pour in the wine and stock. Bring to a gentle simmer. Nestle in the bouquet garni. Cover the chops with a sheet of aluminum foil almost touching their surface. Cover with the lid. Simmer gently for about 2 hours, until a knife stuck into one of the chops goes in and out with no resistance.
  3. Meanwhile, soak the prunes in just enough water to cover for 30 minutes.
  4. Gently transfer the chops to a plate and keep them warm in a low oven while you make the sauce. Take out the bouquet garni and strain the braising liquid into a saucepan. Simmer gently, skimming off any fat and scum that float to the surface, until the sauce cooks down by about three-quarters or takes on a lightly syrupy consistency. Add the cream and simmer again until the sauce thickens just slightly—it should be kept light. Drain the prunes and add them to the sauce.
  5. Simmer the prunes in the sauce for a minute to soften them, and season the sauce with salt and pepper. Arrange the chops on heated plates and spoon over the prunes and sauce.