We were in town the other day and I popped into the Little Waitrose they have there. I sure miss Waitrose. I used to do most of my shopping there when we lived down South. Their meat and produce was always excellent. I found some excellent looking organic free range pork chops that were on their sell by date and so I got a good bargain. I froze them when I got home and then, yesterday, I thawed them out and we had them for supper.
We don't eat pork very often . . . actually we don't eat any red meat very often . . . usually it is fish or chicken or no meat at all . . . but the Toddster, he does enjoy a good chop once in a while.
My mother always way over-cooked her pork when I was growing up. Seriously. You could have used her chops to shingle a roof. I think there was a lot of fear as well as danger in those days of people getting trichinosis from under-cooked pork.
You can cook pork well enough without drying it out and over-cooking it though. There is a fine line between cooked through and cremated! I don't care who you are . . . an over cooked pork chop is just not very tasty or appealing. I find if you cook it so long as the meat which is closest to the bone runs with clear juices when pricked . . . then it's done! And indeed you can cook the tenderloin only until it is a little pink and you will be safe. Any longer and it's blah . . . YUCKO!
Today I pan fried my chops, finishing them off in a hot oven for a few minutes while I created a delicious sauce to serve over top . . . of red apples and onions, sage, walnuts and cider vinegar. Beautiful. It's not a sauce in the sense of a gravy . . . but more like a relish.
Pork and apples are perfect partners . . . add some sage, onion and walnuts, and you have something very special indeed. Tasty and colorful with just a bit of crunch from the walnuts. The men in your life will thank you for these!
I paired this up with Tatties and Neeps . . . Basically that is just mashed potatoes and Swede . . . but doesn't the other name sound more delicious and intriguing?? I know, how could you not love something called Tatties and Neeps??? It's quite impossible. And it just goes so well with pork. It really does.
*Pork Chops with an Apple, Red Onion & Walnut Sauce*
Tender pork chops served with a chunky apple, red onion and walnut sauce. Delicious. I like to serve this with mashed potatoes and Swede, or Tatties and Neeps as it is known over here!
4 bone in, thick pork chops
1 TBS butter
freeze dried sage, sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
For the Sauce:
1 TBS olive oil
2 TBS butter
2 large red-skinned dessert apples, cored and cut into wedges
2 medium red onions, peeled and cut into wedges
50g of walnut pieces, toasted (about 1/2 cup)
1 tsp freeze dried sage leaves
2 TBS organic Cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 220*C/425*F/ gas mark 7. Have ready a shallow baking dish.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat until it begins to foam. Sprinkle the chops to taste on both sides with salt, pepper and sage. Brown them generously, for about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove them from the skillet to the baking dish and bang them into the oven while you make the sauce.
To make the sauce. Add the olive oil and butter to the pan drippings. Add the apples and onions. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes, or just until they are beginning to soften. Add the sage leaves, walnuts and cider vinegar and cook for about 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat. Season to taste.
Make sure the juices of the chops are running clear. Once they are done, plate them up onto heated serving plates, spoon an equal portion of the sauce over each and serve immediately.