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!
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.
- 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.
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
- 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 more risotto recipes that I’ve prepared that I know you will enjoy: