Thursday, 6 March 2014

Mid week pork chops

Especially during the autumn/winter months we tend to eat pork at least once a week. Mainly because of value, most cuts - from lion to leg are relatively cheap, you gets lots for your money. I think most people would like to be inspired with pork recipes, otherwise I see most people reaching for overpriced chicken breasts or poor quality mince in the supermarkets (yes I'm nosey to look in others' baskets).
I also like the versatility of pork, from lean fillet (great for stir fries or oriental dishes), slow cooked shoulder (pulled pork) to tasty chops with crispy crackling. All are to my liking. 

This is the type of pork dish I'd cook lots, with flavours that I know go together well. If I wanted Hungarian twist I'd add paprika and sweet peppers instead of sage, apple and Dijon mustard. Both work well with rice. My kids love rice. In this case I did roasted new potatoes with sage and rosemary, they take as long as oven chips to bake and so easy. 

Serves 4
4 Pork chops
A sprinkling of dried sage and rosemary (use fresh if you have)
A drizzle of olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 onion sliced
2 eating apples sliced (I use up whatever's going a bit old in my fruit bowl)
A handful of sliced chestnut mushrooms
1 small glass of cider or white wine
1/2 pint of chicken stock
1/2 a tub of creme fraiche
1 tsp Dijon or whole grain mustard
A squeeze of lemon juice
A pinch of sugar

Firstly I season the chops with herbs, salt and pepper. A drizzle of olive oil. In a hot griddle/frying pan place in chops. Colour on both sides for around 5 minutes. 

Once chops have been sealed in pan, place them in a roasting tray. Add sliced onion and apple this to pan to caramelise. Once softened and slightly browned tip onto chops leaving a little of the onion and apple behind in pan. Next add sliced mushrooms to soften. 

Now deglaze with wine or cider. When alcohol has evaporated add stock. Now add creme fraiche. Keep on a medium/heat to reduce nicely. 

At this point you'll need to taste. Add mustard, little or more, it's up to you. Now add a spritz of lemon juice, again only if it needs it. A pinch or sugar. Trust your taste buds! 

I usually roast chops for an hour or so, until crackling starts to crackle.

Serve with roasted new potatoes. These are literally quartered potatoes tossed in a little olive oil seasoned with cracked black pepper and Maldon sea salt, dried sage and rosemary. Just leave in a 180degree oven for 30mins. 

A lovely midweek meal. We had ours with sugarsnap peas. 


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