This classic French bistro menu is easier to pull off than you’d think.
Sure, I like gastronomy as much as the next food lover, but at least once every few weeks, I head to a traditional café or bistro to partake in the classics.
If you’ve travelled to Paris at all, you know the style of food I’m talking about: These are those reassuringly predictable menus that kick off with a choice of pâté maison, an assiette anglaise (charcuterie platter), oeufs-mayo, or perhaps a potage purée de legumes (pureed vegetable soup). Main courses are equally simple: Perhaps poulet-rôtie, steak-frîtes, a slice of roasted pork or leg of lamb– or maybe a plat du jour, such as blanquette de veau or boeuf aux carottes.
For dessert? Glace (ice cream), mousse au chocolate, or crème caramel. Or, choose a cheese course.
Whether you’re far from Paris and you’re missing bistro-style charm, or you’re in France and want to enjoy bistro cooking at home, here’s my classic French bistro menu that’s simple to make for family and friends.
1. Season both sides of the pork chops with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the pork chops, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, turning once, until slightly pink inside (145°F), 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the pork chops to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm.
2. Drain off all but a sheen of fat from the skillet. Add the shallot and herbes de Provence to the pan and sauté briefly, until shallot is translucent. Add the broth and the wine to the skillet, stirring with a whisk to loosen any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil and boil until the liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup—this should take 4 to 5 minutes, depending on the heat and your pan size. Whisk in the mustard and butter; continue cooking a few seconds until sauce is thickened. Add the capers and parsley.
3. Divide the chops among four dinner plates; spoon sauce over all and serve. Makes 4 servings.