I have been in a bit of a tizzy of late. I have found myself wandering the aisles of the supermarket, looking at the meat. Wandering with desire but little intent. The Wife has warned me off any random acts of meat buying. So, no matter how attractive the deal or how delicious the cut, I have been abstemious. My lunchtime walks around the Sandyford Business District have been a torture. “Look, but don’t buy.” has been the watchword. Home in the evening for ‘a nice bit of fish’ or ‘some healthy chicken’. I have had an unpleasant form of meat anxiety. I have been fretful and perspiring, in need of a good meat fix. That was until tonight.
The Wife is away overnight with her tennis friends. Not that I would do anything to cause her displeasure. But, a huge pork chop is a huge pork chop. I stopped into the butcher on the way home and laid my hands on a couple of giant ‘rib-in’ chops. A quick divert into the supermarket for some plums and we were set. I know that you may think that there is little special about a pork chop. But, that’s because you are not cooking it right. Also, you might not be getting a thick enough chop. Bear with me. We only have one go at this. The Wife is due home in the morning.
The ingredients for Perfect Pork Chop and Plums are as follows:
- 2 big pork chops – rib in, cut as thick as possible.
- 5 or 6 plums
- 2cm of ginger
- 1 teaspoon of dark brown sugar
- Lots of salt and pepper
We are going to serve it with garlic mash so you will need to make that with potatoes and 2 cloves of garlic. Let’s concentrate on the chops and plums. You can work out the garlic mash for yourself.
Slice the plums in half using the bum-like crease as a guide. Yes, it’s vaguely rude but, it’s the best description that comes to mind. Remove the stones. Chop the ginger. Divide the sugar and ginger amongst the plum halves and pop them into a 200º C oven.
Let them warm and break down into a sort of sludgy sauce while you prepare the pork chops. Using a very sharp knife, slice across the skin and through the membrane behind. We want to keep the skin and fat on the meat during cooking. Then season with lots and lots of salt and pepper. The Wife is away so go for it!
Rub the seasoned meat with a little oil and place the chops in a hot pan. Leave the chops untouched for 5 minutes. Turn over and give them another 5 minutes.
Take the plums out of the oven. Replace them with the pan containing the chops. Leave the pan in there for ten minutes. Take the pan out of the oven and return it to the hob. Remove the chops and let them rest. De-glaze the pan with some red wine. Reduce it to a thick, dark, gravy.
Pour this over the chops and serve with the plums and garlic mash.
The flavour is fantastic.The plums are simple fruits and are perfect with the pork chops. The ginger adds a little heat to balance the sweetness. The salt and pepper bring everything alive. The garlic mash gives a lovely aromatic backdrop. It really doesn’t get much tastier than this.
With the meal inside you, do the washing up. Put the dishes away. Clean the kitchen. Get your story straight for the return of the Wife. When she asks, tell her you had some fruit and “just a pork chop” for the evening meal. If you play it right, she will take pity on you and more meat might be on the menu….