Escoffier recipe for making ground pork chops, côtes de porc grand’mère, at home (Escoffier, 2922).

Pork chops even Grandma can chew! This is an interesting way to deconstruct and reconstruct pork cutlets. If you have a particularly tough piece of meat you could use this technique to render it deliciously tender. The French word ‘côtes’ generally refers to ribs today, but this recipe in the English translation of Escoffier’s book uses ‘côtes de porc’ to describe pork chops, or cutlets ‘côtelettes’.

Mise en place for côtes de porc grand’mère:


Côtes de Porc Grand’mère

Start with four pork chops, or bone-in cutlets. You can use any cut of pork chop, of which there are several.

Pork chops

Trim off the edge fat (the long strip of fat usually on one side of the cutlet) in one piece and reserve. Debone the cutlet and roughly chop. Refrigerate the meat. Reserve the bones.

Deconstruct the pork chop

Grind the pork in a meat grinder and immediately refrigerate. Cooling the meat before and after grinding helps prevent the fat from melting, and makes for a nicer ground.

Brown the bones in a skillet. Clean off any meat or fat remaining on the bones. Drain on paper towels and reserve. This is optional, but we think it looks better when the dish is completed.

2922 Cotes de Porc 05

Melt the butter in a saucepan on medium heat until it foams.

Gently sauté the diced onions in the butter until cooked – translucent but not browned. Remove and let cool to room temperature.

Combine an egg, the sautéed onion, butter, salt, pepper and ground nutmeg with the chilled ground pork.

On a clean cutting board, reform eight ounces of the pork back into a cutlet, adding one of the bones and edging it with a strip of fat. Repeat for the remainder of ground pork. So you end up with four côtes (or ‘cutlets’) of pork.

The Escoffier recipes now says to wrap the assembled cutlet in caul fat, and bake in an oven. If you have any caul fat, go for it! We tried pan frying without the caulfat enclosure, but the cutlet fell apart from all that butter.

So we sealed ours in vacuum bags and cooked en sous vide for 20 minutes at 65ºC in a SousVide Supreme water oven. After they were done, we removed them from the water bath and plunged into a cold icewater bath. The high setting of the vacuum held the cutlets in shape while they cooked, and the collagens in the meat provided a natural binder.

Sear the cutlet for final plating.

The cooked, seared cutlet:

Côtes de Porc Grand’mère, aux sauce cerices
Grandmother’s pork chops (Escoffier 2922), served with a cherry reduction.

pork burger escoffier recipe

4 pork chops, with at least 500g (1 pound, 2 ounces) of meat, or 500g (1 pound, 2 ounces) of ground pork
100g (3 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter
50g (2 ounces) diced onion
2 eggs
2g (1/2 teaspoon) kosher salt
1g (1/4 teaspoon) ground black pepper
1g (1/4 teaspoon) freshly grated nutmeg
pig’s caul (optional)

Salter digital scale
cutting board and kitchen knife
mixing bowls
meat grinder
SousVide Supreme water oven or immersion circulator
vacuum sealer and bags
cast-iron skillet
plastic containers

Yields: Enough for 4-6 pork cutlets, or up to 8 burgers.

From the Book:
2922 Côtes de Porc Grand’mère

Remove the meat from the cutlet bones, chop it finely and add per 500 g (l lb 2 oz) of meat, 100 g (3 1/2 oz) butter, 50 g (2 oz) chopped onion, cooked in butter without colour, 1 egg, salt, pepper and a touch of grated nutmeg. Mix these ingredients well together.
        Mould the mixture to the shape of cutlets and attach one of the cutlet bones to the side of each. Wrap in a piece of pig’s caul, sprinkle with butter and grill them gently.
        Arrange in a circle on a dish and serve accompanied with a dish of mashed potatoes.

A. Escoffier. Le guide culinaire: the complete guide to modern cookery, H.L. Cracknell & R.J.Kaufmann, transl.