Nancy Oakes  is indeed one of San Francisco’s most beloved Chef. Virtually every reader’s poll of San Francisco Bay Area publications names Nancy Oakes as one of the most popular chef, and Boulevard as the favorite restaurant in San Francisco.  During her years of study at the San Francisco Art Institute, Oakes was also known in San Francisco for her down-to-earth yet elegant service and hospitality while working at such places as Alexis on Nob Hill.As a self-taught chef, Oakes enhanced her philosophy with the knowledge she gained from great teachers under whom she served informally. From Girard Boyer and Taillevent to Guy Savoy and Joel Robuchon, Oakes learned to cherish all aspects of food from searching for the freshest ingredients to perfect service.


Cider Brined French Center Cut Pork Chop with Shaved Brussel Sprouts, Smoked Bacon, Pomegranate Relish and a Natural Jus

Made with:

Eden Natural Berkshire Pork Chops

Nueske Smoked Applewood Bacon

Pork Brine Ingredients:

3 Cups Hot (150 degree) Water

1 Cup Kosher Salt

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

1 Cup Apple Cider

2 tbls. Dijon Mustard

1 bunch Thyme

1 tbls. Fresh Rosemary – chopped

4 – (10-12 oz.) Pork Chops (center loin, Double –cut)

To brine the pork chops, in a large bowl or measuring cup, stir the water, salt, and brown sugar until the salt and sugar dissolve. Add the apple cider, peppercorns, mustard, thyme and rosemary. Refrigerate the brine until it is cold. Put the chops in a large zipper-lock bag and pour over the brine. Seal the bag, pressing out as much air as possible. Let the chops brine for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.

For the Bacon Ingredients:

8 oz. Slab of Applewood Bacon (cut into 1/4 inch dice)

1/4 cup Water

1 tbls. Butter (melted)
Pre-heat oven 325.

To Braise bacon, place on 1/2 sheet pan or in small baking pan. Pour on water and butter, place in oven for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring often. Bacon is done when it slightly rendered and soft.
Just before service, crisp the bacon and add to the relish.

Pomegranate Relish Ingredients:

1/4 cup Pomegranate Seeds

1/4 cup Red Currant Grapes (champagne grapes – washed and stems removed)

1/4 cup Pistachios (toasted)

Relish Vinaigrette Ingredients:

1 tspn. Balsamic vinegar

1 tspn. Pomegranate Molasses

1 tspn. Pistachio Oil

1 tbls. Orange juice

TT Salt

Combine the vinaigrette and mix in the relish and taste for seasonings after bacon is added.

Brussell Sprouts Ingredients:

3 lbs. Brussel Sprouts (the bruised outside leaves removed and shaved on a mandoline about 1/8 inch thick. Rinsed in cold water and drained)

4 oz. Butter

1/4 – 1/2 cup Water

1/4 cup Shallots (diced)

TT Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

In a large sauté pan melt the butter and add the shallots, sweat lightly, then add the shaved brussel sprouts, toss to coat and then add 1/4 cup of water, stirring all the while so it cooks evenly, adding more water as necessary so as not to burn it. Cook until tender, but not mushy. Adjust seasonings.

To Cook the Pork and make the Sauce:
1. About 1 hour before remove the pork chops from the brine and pat dry. Preheat the oven to 350. Heat a sauté pan(s) to medium heat with 2 tbls. olive oil and add the pork, sear on both sides and put into oven to finish cooking approximately 8 – 12 minutes depending on how well done you like it.

2. Take chops out of pan(s), set aside, and pour out the fat from the pan and deglaze with 1 cup Apple Cider and reduce by half. Add 1 cup dark Chicken Jus and bring to a boil. Off heat, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. You can add 1 tbls. butter for a richer flavor.