Pork Chops with Pears & Crackling (Serves 4)
This is one of those recipes which I pull out every autumn, it’s a family favourite and appears on our menu quite a lot over the winter months. I first shared this recipe with you in the autumn of 2020; if you haven’t already tried it you really should, it’s a delicious creamy dish – a real ‘hug on a plate’! I found the recipe years ago in a magazine, the cutting is now rather dog-eared as I’ve cooked it so many times! The crackling, which is made from the rind of the chops, is my personal addition and one which, I must admit, is one of my more brilliant ideas(!); it is really worth making as it makes this dish extra special. I like to serve this with my ‘favourite’ mashed potato or, if I’m feeling a little lazy, jacket potatoes, and for some greenery I like tenderstem broccoli with lemon butter and almonds (all recipes are here).
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
4 pork chops
4 bushy sprigs of thyme, leaves picked and chopped
2 medium pears
200ml dry cider
150ml double cream
Sea salt and Black pepper
For the Crackling
1-2 tablespoons malt vinegar
- First of all make the crackling: cut off the rind from the chops. Score the rinds a couple of times. Pour boiling water over each piece, dry it, and sprinkle over the malt vinegar, rubbing it in, finally sprinkle with salt. Leave to one side for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, place on a baking tray and cook in the oven, 200’c, for 30 minutes until crisp.
- Meanwhile, lightly oil the chops, sprinkle over the thyme and season with salt and pepper.
- Halve and core the pears, cut into large dice. Melt the butter in a frying pan and cook the diced pear until golden and slightly caramelised on each side. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- In the same pan brown the chops on each side over a moderate heat. When browned place on a baking tray and cook in the oven, 200’c fan, for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, deglaze the frying pan with the cider, stirring to dissolve any sticky residue that the chops have left behind. Boil and reduce the cider for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the cream, whisk lightly to mix in and allow to bubble down for a minute or so.
- Return the chops and the pears to the pan to reheat everything. Check the seasoning. Serve with the crackling, mashed potato or jacket potatoes and tenderstem broccoli (recipes here).