Beetroot lends itself perfectly to being puréed. There are lots of different varieties around these days; you could blend up red, white or yellow beets for this. I had almost forgotten about sauce charcutière; it's one of those sauces that you make at college and then it goes out of your head. It goes very well with pork, as that sharpness of the gherkins cuts the fattiness of the pork. I remove the rind from my pork chops and crisp them up separately as they never get crisp in the time the cutlet takes to cook.
4 pork cutlets weighing about 200-250g each
A few good knobs of butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil for brushing
For the sauce
2 medium shallots, peeled, halved and finely chopped
A good knob of butter
1tsp English mustard
100ml white wine
300ml hot beef stock
8 small gherkins, finely shredded
Boil the beetroots in their skins in salted water for about an hour or so until tender then drain and leave to cool enough to handle and remove the skins with your hands. You may want to use rubber gloves for this to save staining your hands with the red beets. Chop the beetroot and blend to a coarse or smooth purée in a food processor or blender, then transfer to a clean pan, add the butter and season. To make the sauce, gently cook the shallots in the butter then stir in the flour and mustard. Gradually add the wine and beef stock, stirring constantly to avoid lumps forming, then season and simmer very gently for about 15 minutes.
Pre-heat a ribbed griddle pan or a heavy frying pan, brush the cutlets with oil and season then cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, keeping them slightly pink and moist. You can get the crackling on before hand or just cook and crisp it up under a grill. To serve, re-heat the beetroot and add the gherkins to the sauce. Spoon the beetroot on to warmed plates and serve the sauce separately or on the plate with the cutlet.
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