Pork Chops alla Marsala with Risotto alla Milanese

Nothing is so fine as the flavor that is enhanced by the simple addition of Marsala wine!  It’s distinctive sweet flavor when combined with the savoriness of a piece of meat, onions, and garlic is unbelievably memorable.  From the moment of first tasting a sauce with a Marsala base, you’ll know that unique flavor forever!  I have to thank my blogging friend, Marie from Proud Italian Cook, for inspiring me to elevate some ordinary pork chops to some sublime pork chops in a Marsala sauce.  I never thought to substitute veal or chicken for pork chops and now I realize how much I have been missing out!  Thanks Marie!

Don’t be intimidated by the name of this recipe.  I think that all in all, I prepared this entire dinner in less than one hour.  This recipe has all the elements that both chefs and cooks enjoy:  over-the-top flavor, ease and simplicity, beauty to the eye, and an aromatic aroma . . . plus it seems as if you spent countless hours and work in the kitchen for your family and/or guests!

With a few adjustments (more Marsala!) I combined this Pork alla Marsala entree with classic golden, creamy Risotto alla Milanese.  I had some precious saffron in the kitchen, the most expensive spice on the planet, since the ‘threads’ are picked by hand from each crocus flower.  I can’t remember what the price was for the saffron, but I know that it was a splurge!

a heavenly sight to one’s eyes on the plate and the aroma and flavor is so incredible!

pork marsala risotto milanese


saute’ the pork chops until a nicely brown color is achieved in the melted butter and extra virgin olive oil
 
remove the chops and place on a warming platter in a warm oven
while sauteing the onions and garlic
add the mushrooms and sauté until browned and cooked well, usually 5 – 10 minutes
add Marsala, other liquids and mascarpone cheese after mushrooms are cooked enough
cook the mushroom-Marsala sauce until thickened
in a pretty baking pan, place a little bit of the mushroom-Marsala sauce on the bottom
and place the browned pork chops on top
pour all of the remaining mushroom-Marsala sauce on top
bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 – 15 minutes

Risotto alla Milanese, the creamy rice dish that achieves its vivid golden color and flavor from saffron, is the perfect pairing for Pork Chops alla Marsala.  This tremendously classic risotto recipe from the northern region of Italy became famous from it’s golden color that was presented to guests in the year 1574, at a chef’s daughter’s wedding dinner during which he surprised everyone with ‘golden’ colored risotto in honor of gold, the ultimate of wedding gifts.

the classic Risotto Milanese gets its extraordinary flavor from 
beautiful reddish-orange saffron, the most expensive spice in the world
that is picked by hand from each flower.

Saffron crocus flowers thrive in the hot, dry summers of the Mediterranean.  
To produce just ONE pound of dried saffron requires the harvest of 50,000–75,000 flowers;
forty hours of labour are needed to pick 150,000 flowers!
.
,
Risotto alla Milanese 
.
6 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp. saffron threads
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 small yellow onions, minced
2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
½ cup grated Parmesan
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat stock and saffron in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium heat; keep warm. 
Heat butter in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. 
Add onions; cook until soft, about 4 minutes. 
Add rice; cook until lightly toasted, about 4 minutes. 
Add wine; cook until evaporated, about 2 minutes. 
Add ½ cup warm stock; cook, stirring, until absorbed, about 2 minutes. 
Continue adding stock, ½ cup at a time, and cooking until absorbed before adding more, until rice is tender and creamy, about 16 minutes total. 
Stir in Parmesan; season with salt and pepper. 

I sprinkle just a little more saffron in though!
Magnifico!

Pork Chops alla Marsala

What You Need:

  • 6 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 – 4 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 container of freshly sliced crimini mushrooms
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 – 4 ‘bone-in’ thick-cut pork chops
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth + 3 Tbsp. beef bouillon (I use “Better Than Bouillon”, but some recipes call for “brown sauce”
  • 1 cup Marsala wine
  • 3 Tbsp. Mascarpone cheese (some chefs use heavy cream).
  • freshly diced thyme
  • freshly diced Italian parsley

Instructions

  • Melt the butter along with olive oil in a large skillet.
  • Add pork chops to brown on both sides; when finished, place the chops in a warm oven for the remainder of the process.
  • Add diced onions and garlic, saute for a few minutes.
  • Add mushrooms, saute’ until brown and reduced in size.
  • Allow the mixture to thicken up a bit.
  • Add Marsala wine.
  • Add chicken broth plus beef bouillon or ‘brown sauce’.
  • Add the Mascarpone cheese and blend well.
  • Add thyme and cook for a few minutes to blend all of the flavors.
  • In a medium-sized baking pan, place a little bit of the sauce on the bottom of the pan.
  • Place the pork chops on sauce.
  • Pour all of the remaining mushroom-onion-garlic sauce all over the top.
  • Place everything back in the oven and bake for 10 minutes or more, or place on low to simmer while you set the table or are preparing a salad or side dish.
  • Serve with a pretty sprig of fresh thyme and/or chopped Italian parsley.
  • Serve with Risotto Milanese.

Here are some other risotto recipes that I’ve prepared that I know you will enjoy:

Creamy Risotto with Lemon, Asiago Cheese, and Rosemary


Risotto with Porcini Mushrooms

 
 
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Comments

  1. says

    Oh wow Roz, your photos are beautiful! What a meal with your risotto, the color is gorgeous and certainly worth the splurge with the saffron. So glad you liked the marsala with pork, my new fav! You’re making me hungry as I scroll back and forth at your pictures!

  2. says

    This looks so fabulus, Roz! I’ve made veal and chicken marsala, but never tried making pork this way. I must make this very soon –thank you for the inspiration!

    Also, thank you for your best wishes on the birth of our first granddaughter–we ae all so in love wih her!

  3. says

    Marsala sure does make a delightful and delicious difference in so many dishes. I find a bit added to a quiche makes ordinary special! But, Roz, your photographs have me wanting these pork chops and the risotto now. (I’m afraid I protect my precious saffron so much it may have lost its oomph!)

  4. says

    It’s really strange for me to see the Risotto alla Milanese with the pork. But you know, for us in Italy the risotto is a first plate and it is always separated by any other dish.
    I think your preparation is super, and I would be very curious to taste your pork chops with Marsala wine. I can only imagine its smelt… :-)

  5. says

    Roz – This is such a gourmet and delicious looking meal. Checking out that first picture has me salivating! Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!

  6. says

    This is visually so beautiful and appetizing – and with all the ingredients it has to be delicious. I have a bottle of Marsala and making this recipe will be a great use of the wine. Grazie tante!

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