The right chops for a tasty meal (+recipes)

By Grant Allen

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Chops are a mainstay of the Kiwi diet, finds Grant Allen.

Crab apples make a pleasant change as an accompaniment to pork chops. Photo / Jason Dorday
Crab apples make a pleasant change as an accompaniment to pork chops. Photo / Jason Dorday

Meat cooked closest to the bone is always the sweetest. There's a whole food chemistry that explains why, but let's take it as a given.

As the connective tissues melt under heat they moisten and help the cooking process. Who can resist picking up the bone and nibbling away at the tender tasty bits that are left after you have politely cut away the meat with your cutlery? I also love the rim of fat, cooked to a crunch, that features on the outer edge of a chop.

I can hear the food police calling an alert but fat is a flavour carrier and without it, in some form or another, our taste experiences would be diminished. So don't deny yourself - tuck into a little succulent fat as well as the tasty, nutritious meat beside it.

Pork chops

Pork chops tend to be a bit bigger than others and one per person is usually an ample serve.

1 Sear off the fatty edge in a hot pan in a little oil, just enough to start. The fat will melt and this will be enough to cook the chop in.

2 Turn the pork on to its side and seal well. Turn once. Season. Cook until the meat feels just done. Do not overcook pork, it should be tender and not dried out.

3 Splash the meat with a little soy sauce and rest in a warm oven for as long as you have cooked it.

4 Turn up the heat on the pan and cook some cavolo nero leaves in the tasty pan juices. Once well wilted, drain and keep warm until ready to plate.

To serve on the side I cooked some crab apples by simmering them in a pot with honey and water. Not only do they look pretty, they make a change from the traditional apple sauce. If you were roasting pork you could roast the apples beside the joint.

Here are other recipes to try out:

* Lamb French cutlets and ratatouille

* Classic lamb chops

* Crumbed cutlets

* T-bone steak

- Herald on Sunday

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