Passion for Pork

Recipe: Cafe Linnea’s Cured Pork Chops on Warm Lentils with Canola Oil Emulsion

Sharman - Thursday, March 21, 2019

At Cafe Linnea‘s recent Taste Alberta Prairie on the Plate dinner, chef Kelsey Johnson featured a cured pork chop that was an absolute lip smacker. The main course, made with Serben Farms Alberta pork chops, was paired alongside a warm lentil salad with a canola oil emulsion and port caramelized onions. The complete dish was composed of simple flavours, but executed perfectly, and made with high-quality and flavour-packed ingredients. If you love pork chops – this recipe make make a classic comfort cut of pork shine.

Cured Pork Chops on Warm Lentils with Canola Oil Emulsion
Recipe by chef Kelsey Johnson, Cafe Linnea
Pork Chops: 
4 bone out pork chops
50 grams salt
20 grams sugar
  1. Add salt and sugar to 1 litre of water in a large pot and bring to just a boil. Allow brine to cool to room temperature or cooler before adding pork.
  2. Soak pork chops for eight hours in brine.
  3. Remove and pat dry.
  4. Over medium/high heat, sear the pork chop in a cast iron pan on both sides. Preheat oven to 350F, and finish pork chop in the oven to a nice medium, or 145F using a meat thermometer, for maximum juiciness.
Warm Lentils:
2 cups puy lentils
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced parsnips
sachet of black peppercorns, bay leaf
2 tbsp vegetable stock
1 tsp butter
salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Soak lentils overnight in cold water. Drain and rinse the next day.
  2. In a large pot, cover the lentils with an extra inch of water and bring to the simmer with the sachet of peppercorns and bay leaf. Cook until tender but not falling apart. Drain and discard the sachet.
  3. To serve, in a sauté pan, heat some vegetable stock with the diced vegetables and cook for about 2 mins. Season and add the lentils tossing to coat and finish with the butter.
  4. Dress the warm salad with the lentil dressing and adjust your seasoning to taste.
Lentil Dressing:
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 cup canola oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1. In a blender, combine the vinegar and Dijon and slowly stream in the oil to make a nice thick emulsion. Season to taste.
Canola Oil Emulsion:
2 egg yolks
juice of 1 lemon
1 cup cold pressed canola oil
* it’s really important to use a good quality, cold pressed canola oil or else you are just making mayonnaise with no character flavour
  1. In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, blend up the yolks with a tiny splash of the lemon juice.
  2. Slowly start to stream in the canola oil to make a mayonnaise emulsion.
  3. Balance the remainder of the ingredients until its a nice thick consistency and season with salt to finish.
Port Soaked Onions
1 large Spanish onion, cut horizontally into 4 big slices
1/4 cup port wine
1/4 cup pork stock
  1. Sear your onions to very dark on a flat cast iron griddle with no oil or coating.
  2. To serve, place your onions in a large skillet being careful to keep them intact. On medium heat, add the port wine and slowly simmer and reduce. When it is half cooked off, add the pork stock and continue to simmer and reduce while glazing the tops of the onions every so often until your sauce is nice and thick and glossy.
To Assemble:
  1. Scoop the warmed and seasoned lentils onto the base of your plate.
  2. Top with your pork chops and add three nice spoons of your canola oil emulsion around the chop.
  3. Top each chop with the onion segment and a spoon of the sauce. Garnish with some greens if you have them and enjoy!