2 tsp fresh thyme, picked approximately- 10 sprigs of thyme
2 tbsp / 28 grams unsalted butter
2 cups / 473 ml beef broth-chicken will also work. Unsalted.
2 tbsp / 16 grams all purpose flour
To make the spaetzle whisk together your eggs and milk. Add your flour one cup at a time, mixing really well before adding the next cup, add your salt with your last bit of flour. Cover your batter and let this sit for one hour so the flour hydrates.
Bring a large pot of water to simmer lots of little bubbles but not a rolling boil, leaving yourself a bit of headroom so the spaetzle has room to drop down, and season with a few pinches of salt. Not quite like seawater but well seasoned.
For the tools to making spaetzle you can use a spaetzle maker which is very straightforward. A perforated sheet tray or hotel pan placed on top of your pot of water, use a spoon to scoop batter onto the tray then use a bench scraper to pull the batter over the holes. Or a slotted spoon or ladle and just scoop some batter and hover over the pot and let gravity do the work. Just be careful with any of these because you’ll be working over a stove and very hot water. Have a towel nearby to handle everything.
Once your spaetzle is in the water wait until they begin to float, then cook for 30 seconds after that. Similar to gnocchi. It’s around 1 minute in the water total. Remove from the water and drain, lay them on a sheet tray to cool and dry. Once all your spaetzle is made if I’m not going to eat them right away I like to toss them in a very small amount of oil so they don’t stick together. You can keep these covered in your fridge for 5 days.
Begin by cleaning your mushrooms, I like to give them a wipe with a damp cloth and if they’re really dirty I will rinse them really quickly in water. If your mushrooms have really woody stems especially around the bottom go ahead and cut them off. Then go ahead and slice your mushrooms around 1/4th inch thick.
Do a small dice on your shallot, mince your garlic, and chop your thyme.
Preheat a sauté pan over medium heat and add enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom. Once it shimmers and lightly smokes add your sliced mushroom. The mushrooms are going to release a lot of water but keep cooking until all that water is gone, then get some nice browning on them. This took me around 8 minutes.
Turn the heat to medium-low and add in the butter. Once it’s melted and foaming add in the shallot, garlic, thyme, and a small pinch of salt. Sweat everything down until the shallots are translucent, around 4 minutes. Dust over the flour and stir really well. Cook until the flour you can see is a light blonde, or until you have nice browning on the bottom of your pan. Deglaze with your broth, scrape the bottom of your pan really well with a rubber spatula, and bring to a simmer.
Cook until the liquid has reduced down and thickened up, around 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Keep warm or cool in an ice bath and store for up to 5 days. If you’ve held it warm for quite a bit, add a touch of broth to thin it out.
Finish the dish
Pull your pork chops out of the fridge an hour before you plan on cooking them
Preheat a sauté pan over medium heat and add a few tablespoons of neutral oil. Once it shimmers and smokes, season your pork chop with salt and lay it in the pan. Cook your pork chop to your preferred doneness and remove from the pan and crack over some black pepper.
If my pan is still in good shape, no burnt spots just some nice browning, I like to cook my spaetzle in the same pan. Give your pan a small wipe to remove most of the excess fat then drop in your spaetzle and a tiny knob of butter. Just let your spaetzle sit for a minute, I like to get it crispy on one side so you can have a little browning but also still enjoy the chewiness of spaetzle, then taste one and adjust your salt. Give it a toss and you’re ready to serve.
Lay the spaetzle down on a plate, add your pork chop, and top with gravy.