Recipe Wednesday: Goal #58, Jamie Oliver Pan-Fried Glazed Pork Chops

Recipe Wednesday was inspired by the Youngrens, California photographers who cook, photograph, and post recipes on periodic Sundays.  Cooking good wholesome food is something that is very important to my wife and I so I’ve decided to start documenting our kitchen adventures.  You’ll see pictures and recipes from books that are quickly becoming our go-to guides.  Hopefully it can give you some ideas for your own kitchen.

Despite the added cost, we almost always buy outdoor reared meat.  This includes free-range chicken (and cage free chicken eggs) and grass fed beef and pork.  After watching Food, Inc. about a year ago we have completely changed our mindset on how we view our food and where it comes from, especially meat.  The additional cost means we do eat vegetarian a bit more, but we think this is good for us in the long run.  When we do eat meat we take special care to make sure we cook it well and with lots of flavor so we enjoy it.

This pork recipe is an easy way to cook chops, adding in more flavor than I ever experienced growing up.  It also has a small list of ingredients so its a quick fix meal.    We served it with roasted sweet potato fries and cucumbers.

Pan-Fried Glazed Pork Chops
(serves 2)

2 x 8-ounce pork chops, preferably free-range or organic
olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 springs of fresh sage
optional: one lemon
applesauce, mango chutney, apricot jam, maple syrup, or honey, to glaze (we used honey b/c we had it in the pantry)

To prepare your pork:
Using a very sharp knife, or kitchen scissors, carefully trim the skin off the edges of each chop – you’re going to turn this into crackling.  Cut each strip of skin lengthways into 2 strips, so you end up with 4 strips in total.  Use a sharp knife to make cuts every 1/4 inch along the fat remaining on the chops–this will help it render and crisp up while cooking.  Rub both sides of the chops with olive oil and season really well with salt and pepper.  While you’re at it, season your strips of skin.  Pick the sage leaves off their stalks, toss them lightly in a little olive oil, and put to one side.

To cook your pork:
Put a frying pan over a high heat and add your strips of skin.  Move them about in the hot pan and remove them when golden, crisp, and crackling.  Lay both chops flat  in the pan and give them  4-5 minutes on each side, turning every minute.  When they’re looking golden, add a few sage leaves to the pan.  Let them crisp up and cook for about 30 seconds, then remove them to a plate.  Spoon a large tablespoon of applesauce (or your chosen glazing ingredient) over each chop.  Keep turning the chops over so they get nicely coated.  Have the confidence to cook them until almost a dark reddy-golden color and wonderfully thick and sticky.  Remove the chops to a plate and let them rest for a minute or two, squeezing over a little lemon juice if you want to balance out the sweetness a bit.

To serve your pork:
Serve your chops on a plate, with the crackling and the crispy sage leaves.  Lovely with some dressed veggies, a fresh salad, plain rice, or mashed potatoes.

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