Pork chops in vine leaves
This recipe was my childhood favorite! I learned to prepare this from my mom. She says it traditional Bulgarian from the Danube region (where they have many vine yards). Cooking pork chops isn’t a rocket science, but nothing tastes like a juicy and tender pork chop. Here’s one of the Bulgarian ways of cooking it.
Preparation time: 60 minutes
1 tbsp olive oil 4 pork chops per person Salt and freshly ground black pepper A pack vine leaves in brine (about 250g) 100 g bread crumbs Salt and pepper Leek strips (cut one layer of leek into 1 cm wide strips)
3-4 mushrooms, sliced (optional)
Brown the chops in fry pan. Drain off grease and set aside. Combine the salt, pepper and bread crumbs and coat the entire chop. Do the same with the rest of them.
Lay out 4 leaves, veiny side up, and place one chop in each leaf. If vine leaves are of a smaller size, use two. Cover the chops with vine leaves over to make a parcel. At this stage you can place the parcels in a large casserole. But what I do before that is tie them up with leek strips (see the photo).
Add the mushrooms and sprinkle over the remaining liquid from the vine leaves. Cover the casserole with foil and cook for 45 minutes–1 hour at 150⁰C, until all the liquid is absorbed and the leaves are tender.