Pork with Cheese and Apple

Ou.. Gratineè côtelette de porc avec fromage et pomme? No, never mind.

There is nothing french about this dish. I remember seeing the recipe on a tv advert for British pork once, although, I think they suggested Gruyere. I would still suggest you use Gruyere, but I don’t like it a great deal so I can happily recommend any strong melting cheese.You may be doubtful, but these are fairly classic flavour combinations. It’s also a very quick, very easy way to brighten up midweek pork chops.

To serve 2:

  • 2 pork chops
  • 4 tbsp apple sauce
  • 100g(ish) strong cheese, grated

Grill your pork chop suntil cooked, a matter of 15 – 20 minutes, under a medium grill. When cooked, spread two tablespoons of apple sauce across each chop and sprinkle with melted cheese. Put back under the grill for a few minutes until sauce heats through and cheese has melted. Et voila!


Sticky Barbecue Ribs & Grilled Sweetcorn – Farmer’s Market Wednesday

It felt a bit strange to me to be buying fresh corn on the cob at the farmer’s market today – it is a vegetable I only associate with the summertime, and this morning was .definitely. definitely. autumn. But never mind, at 40p each and grilled to go alongside some baby ribs, I managed to convince myself for a few minutes. The sauce is tomato based and really easy. Even if you don’t have a food processor like lazy old me you can still do it, just ensure that you crush the tomatoes down well with your hands and mince the onion and garlic as finely as you possibly can. Serves 2. Hugely easily multiplied.

For the ribs:

  • barbecueribs500g ribs, preferably on the rack
  • 2 tsps cajun seasoning
  • 400g can tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • 100ml tomato puree
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp cider or white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar (or, in my case, maple syrup) or even honey if you like
  • 1 scant teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp mustard powder

Preheat your oven to gas 2. Cut your rack of ribs in half, and rub a teaspoon of cajun seasoning into each piece. Put them into a heavy casserole with a lid, or if you don’t have one of the right size, a solid roasting tin which you will cover with foil. Put the covered ribs into the oven and leave them to cook slowly for 2 – 2 and a half hours.

In the meantime, put your garlic and onion in the bowl of your food processor and whizz down until chopped extremely finely. Put them in a saucepan with a generous pinch of salt and pepper and a splash of olive oil. Sweat off over a very low heat until soft and translucent. In the same food processor, put all the remaining ingredients and whizz again until smooth and fully combined. Put the sauce into the saucepan with the onion and garlic, stir well and simmer gently for around 20 minutes.

About forty minutes before you are ready to eat, turn the oven right up to gas 6, and put the ribs onto a roasting tin or baking sheet. Cover each side of the ribs with the barbecue sauce, reserving a little, and place into the oven. Cook for 20 minutes and then turn over. Add the remaining barbecue sauce and put back in the oven. They will need just twenty more minutes, but keep checking that the sauce isn’t burning. If it starts to catch, you can take it out.  Turn on your grill.

For the sweetcorn:

  • cornoncob2 corn on the cob
  • 2 tsps of butter

Get two lengths of tin foil about 6 inches long. Remove the corn from the husks, if they’re ready to cook they should come off really easily. Place the corn onto the foil and put about a teaspoon of butter on each. Roll up the foil, tucking in the end until they are wrapped snugly. Put under a hot grill, and turning fairly regularly, cook for 15 minutes, until kernels have softened in the melted butter. Serve with the ribs.

Hot & Sweet Glazed Pork Chops – North European Stylee

This was not my recipe. I have tweaked a touch, but the thanks and credit belong to the brilliant Eclectic Cook blog for such a delicious dinner. I’ve changed only three things, though. I’ve added thyme, and also salt and pepper to the glaze (although I’ve managed to hold back on crushed garlic, shallots and calvados. Such restraint.), I’ve changed the cooking method, because I’m fairly sure that when Eclectic Cook talks about ‘on the grill’ she means a barbecue, or outside thing, rather then my domestic ‘broiler’ (its been way too cold to cook outside since about.. June here), I’ve also given my chops a bit of a head start with the glaze. Hopefully, they are no less fantastic for these changes.They don’t look much the same, and I found the taste to be far subtler than I expected, but in a good way.Sadly, the photography here is nowhere near as good. Serves 4 with veg.

sweet and sticky glazed chops

  • 4 pork chops
  • 250ml apple juice (not from concentrate)
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 4 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 4 tbsp runny hunny

chop glaze

Around an hour beforehand, make up your glaze and either shlop it into a large freezer bag with the chops or put the chops in a deep bowl and cover with the marinade.

When you’re ready to go, preheat the grill and get your chops. Shake off the excess of any glaze, but not too seriously, you will be basting. These chops will caramelise (burn) very easily because of the sugars in the honey, so cook it under a slow-medium heat. Put them under your grill and cook for a few minutes, baste, turn the chops, baste, cook for a few minutes, baste, turn, baste, cook for around 17 -20 minutes. Alternatively, especially if 4 chops doesn’t fit in your grill, preheat the oven to gas 6, brown the chops under a medium heat for a few minutes on each side. When brown, put in a roasting dish or oven tray, pour a few tablespoons of marinade over the chops. Cook for 7 minutes, turn over and do the same. Take out of the oven. Scoff.

Roast Belly Pork with Easy Spice Rub – Farmer’s Market Wednesday

smoked paprikaIt was pretty hard to feel inspired at the market this morning, simply because it was just pouring down with rain again. So, even though I have a couple of pork meals prepared for this week, I didn’t hang about looking to see what looked great today, or seek inspiration in  the abundance of fresh ingredients.  I just ran over to the first stall that I knew sold good meat and I just bought the first cut my eyes rested upon. Happily, I have the rest of the ingredients in my cupboard, but there isn’t anything that can’t be found in a quick trip to Sainsburys.

I suppose if I were to define this dish as anything I would say, chinesey. However, given the smoked paprika, I can’t say its a particularly authentic recipe. Never mind, it’s really delicious anyway. The thing with belly pork, is that you need to flavour it, probably, and you need to be patient and cook it slowly. This means not falling asleep in front of the telly with your child if you want dinner on the table at a sensible time, unlike me. Slow roasting will bring out the best in this cheap cut of meat – cook it too fast and the fat won’t melt into the flesh sufficiently and you’ll have a tough, very fatty piece of meat. I always buy far more of this cut than I need, as I love it cold too. This recipe is adapted from a recipe book called The Best, to accompany the BBC series of the same name. Serves umm.. 3?

  • 1.5 kilo piece of belly pork, skin scored  by your butcher
  • 3 tsps salt
  • 1.5 tsps smoked paprika
  • 3 tsps chinese 5 spice powder

chinese barbecue ork pre oven

Boil a kettle full of water, and on a rack over a roasting tin, pour it over your pork, concentrating on the skin. Leave to drain off the water for a few minutes while you mix together the rest of the ingredients. If the pork still feels wet when you’ve done this, dry it off with a bit of kitchen towel. Then, rub the spice mix into the pork evenly all over, not forgetting the sides of the joint. Put in the oven at gas 8 and cook for 20 minutes, turn down to gas 2-3 and cook for another 3 hours. If the crackling is not all you hoped for at the end of the cooking time, cover the joint with foil and whack the oven up to gas 7 for 15 minutes and that should help. Remove from the roasting tin, and put the pork somewhere warm to rest . Skim the excess fat from the pan and then add:

  • 20ml soy sauce
  • 15ml rice or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp oriental chilli oil
  • coooked chinese barbecue pork

Swish them together along with the juices and put the pork back into the pan with the soy, vinegar and chilli oil and cover. When pork has rested for at least 10 minutes in total, carve into thin slices and serve over rice, pouring the juices over.

Pork with Cheese, Sage & Apple

applesI try not to plan ahead too often what I’m going to have on a Wednesday night. I’m lucky enough to work five minutes away from a weekly farmer’s market, and although I usually can’t get there until its on the brink of closing for the day due to the hours I work, I usually manage to pick up some special stuff.  Today there were lots of apples around, and some pretty delicious free range pork. I wish I could shop for more meals there, but I just can’t get too much stuff home by myself.

Some flavour marriages, are made in heaven. This menage a quatre, likewise. Everything goes with everything else here in a lovely crunch, melt in the mouth kind of way. I noticed tonight, that I’ve been making a lot of things with breadcrumbs lately, so perhaps its rather lucky that my food processor broke down tonight while I was making them. In truth though, this isn’t horribly unhealthy. Cut the fat off the pork and be sure to leave the apple and the cooked pork to rest on a piece of kitchen towel to absorb any excess oil. Serve with a salad. Serves 2 Greedies.

pork with sage

  • 2 large pork chops or pork steaks. Free range, please.
  • 1 large free range egg, beaten
  • 50g gruyere cheese, grated finely (you could use parmesan, alternatively)
  • 100g breadcrumbs
  • 4 sage leaves, very finely chopped
  • oil, preferably groundnut, for frying
  • butter
  • 1 apple, sliced into 1cm slices, core removed
  • salt and pepper

Firstly, get a rolling pin or, if you have one, a meat tenderiser and flatten out the pork chops until they’re no more than about a centimetre thick. go careful because you want them as even as you can and no holes, so while its great to be firm, don’t go mad. Mix the sage leaves, salt and pepper and breadcrumbs on one large plate, pour the beaten egg onto another and on a third, evenly scatter your grated cheese. Then, one at a time, press each side of your pork firmly into the cheese, then the egg and then the breadcrumbs in that order. Leave aside to dry out for up to a couple of hours.

Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan and, over a medium-low heat cook the pork chops. This will take 15 or so minutes. Meanwhile, add a little more oil and butter to a smaller pan and put in your apple slices. Cook these over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes until they are brown and softer, but not falling apart. Serve as described with a lemony dressing with your salad.