It’s fair to say ‘planning and meticulous detail’ aren’t really words I’d apply to some of the things I come up with. When I get the chance to find somewhere decent to food shop, I tend to try and pick something interesting and then build an idea around it.
Cavolo nero, I admit is something I’d never tried and threw in the basket to kick this one off, but heading up to the meat counter, I saw some decent local pork chops, made a connection and it started from there….
I think the grilled peaches idea came from a salad recipe. That black pudding accompaniment; well, pretty much most gastro-pub menus and a little personal preference. The sauce was originally pencilled in using Marsala wine, which the store was out of, but later a quick rifle through the drinks cupboard indicated that we had a stockpile of Port and it seemed silly not to use it.
The pork was good and inexpensive. I liked that the bone was still attached, but you need to cook it carefully to make sure you cook the meat in contact with it, without cremating the rest. Thermometers – the most important tool in the kitchen!
This would have been great, nicely done on the BBQ/grill. But, well, this was the scene in the back garden, so kitchen it was….
I must admit, we liked this. The peaches were a little under-ripe and therefore a bit sharper than I’d like but it’s easily resolved next time. The sweet port sauce helped though and added a bit of richness.
Ingredients for 2
For the pork:
- 2 good pork chops
- Salt & Pepper
- Oil for frying
2 peaches, halved and stoned. You know what I mean.
6 small slices of black pudding (or fewer, larger ones).
4 handfuls of sliced cavolo nero
- About 100ml port
- A little oil
- 1 large garlic clove, crushed, but in its skin
- 200ml good pork or chicken stock
- A handful of thyme, on the stalks
- Butter to finish (about 30g)
A handful of peashoots to finish
Let the pork come to room temperature. Preheat an oven to 160°C/320°F.
In a heavy pan/skillet, heat some oil until smoking and brown the meat well. Flip it over. Add the black pudding to the pan and place in the oven for ten minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small pan, fry the garlic and thyme very gently to infuse the oil. Pour in the port and stock and gently simmer to reduce it until thickened.
Boil and kettle and steam/gently boil the cavolo nero in shallow water for about 5 or 6 minutes – making sure the tough stalks are tender. Drain, season and put back in the pan with a lid to keep warm.
Check the pork with a thermometer, especially near the bone. I take 62°C/144°F as cooked without being overdone – good pork is pretty safe these day and some cuts can be served rare – but I’ll leave this for you to decide yourselves!
Remove the pan from the oven and cover with foil to rest for 10 minutes.
Heat a griddle pan until smoking. Take the peach halves and place them cut side down to heat through and take on some bar marks. Gently prise them free with a spatula or preferably a thin palette knife. They might be stuck so be careful not to take away the nicely charred bits.
Stir the butter into the sauce, which should have reduced nicely. Taste and season.
Heated plates are important here. Place the pork on the cavolo nero and arrange the rest around it. Pour over the sauce to make a nice cheffy ‘moat’ and tuck in.
This cries out for a nice citrusy white wine and who was I to argue.