For dinner tonight the boy and I whipped up a simple and classic combo full of the tasties we grabbed at the Borough Markets. Using our handy dandy Flavour Thesaurus (best kitchen tool ever – EVER), we learnt that some of the best pairings for our succulent, organic, British born and breed pork chops (picked up from The Ginger Pig stall) were…
Apple Did you know this absolute classic combo originated, not only because they are in season at the same time, but also because (in ‘ye olden times’) wild rampant pigs would break into orchids and completely gorge themselves?! The sweetness then came through in the meat. Upon hearing that story how could you not always put apple with your pork? It’s like officially the way nature intended it!
Fennel The anise flavour of fennel will play off the sweetness of the apple and the salt of the pork, giving your dish a, sort of, depth and complete-ness.
Beetroot Similar to the sweetness in the apple, but also chucking in an earthy and wholesome feel to your dish.
So, to turn your market finds (if they, rather spookily, happen to be exactly the same as ours) into this primal pile of complete deliciousness, you will need your chops and…
- 1 x Apple (we used a rather large granny smith, and roughly sliced it into 8)
- 1 x Fennel Bulb (roughly chopped)
- 1 x Red Onion (sliced)
- 2 x Bell Peppers (we used red and yellow, but any combo will work)
- 1 x Sweet Potato (roughly chopped)
- 1 x Courgette (roughly chopped)
- 2 x Beetroot (roughly chopped)*
- 1 Tbs Coconut Oil
- And whatever herbs and spice you like for seasoning (we used rosemary and thyme)
First things first you are going to make your ‘charred pepper and onion reduction’…
So bung on your grill and pop those bad boys (the bell peppers that is) straight onto the oven shelf, yup – wire rack and all. The idea is that the metal will char your peppers. (I actually used 5 or 6 when I made my sauce, because I find this little concoction is a great one to freeze leftovers for simple yet scrummy reheating later). Once you notice they have got some lovely burnt patches and are all soft and gooey, remove them and slice (maybe wait till they have cooled a tad). I went with long and thin. Add your lovely charred peppers to a saucepan with an onion, a dollop of coconut oil and leave on a low heat for around 30 minutes. Basically the onions will sweat out and sweeten. If you want a more liquid sauce you can add some stock, but check the ingredients as most stocks are pumped full of grossness (think sugar and preservatives).
Now, while that’s bubbling away, you can move onto your veggies and fennel…
Take your chopped fennel and apple and simply throw in the oven with a smattering of salt, pepper and coconut oil for about 45 minutes. Same goes for your roasted vegetables (we used sweet potato, courgette and beetroot), but do them in a different dish.
Once everything looks like it’s almost ready, grab your pork and cook in a nonstick sauce pan on medium to high heat. Fry each side for around 5 – 6 minutes (trying to get some nice golden colour on the meat).
Pile up high, and (here’s the best bit ladies and gents) eat.
*Notice how everything here is “rough”. Yeah, I’m much more a home cook than a Michelin star chef… there will never be a recipe here that will ask you to julienne something (unless the boy wrote it) because ain’t nobody got time for that sh*t.