Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Easy Porky Dinner

My friend Sabrina shared her pear harvest with me so I invited her over for a little easy dinner. It was Monday evening, everyone is tired on a Monday and I knew that she wouldn't want to stay too long either but I wanted to treat her to something that she might not have cooked herself.

Pork is much underrated these days - although we have the most amazing pork in Ireland - so I thought it was time to put it back on the food map. I went through my storecupboard and found mushrooms, lemons, cider - I my mind a perfect match for the lovely lean pork chops I bought  earlier. 

I love slow cooking meat, I believe it brings out the best in most meats and here I wanted the lemon to do a bit of a trick as well in infusing the meat while it was braising away in the oven. The result was lovely tender meat with a nice hint of lemon and the cider gave the whole dish a nice lift. Serve it either with roasted potatoes or mash. The recipe works for 4 portions if you count 1 chop per person.

Pork Chops with Lemon & Mushrooms

  • 4 pork chops
  • 1 heaped tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • olive oil
  • 3 small onions (red or white), sliced
  • 1 can of dry cider (don't use the sweet Bulmers)
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1-2 lemon, thinly sliced (you need enough slices to place the chops on)
  • 300g mixed mushrooms (halved or quartered depending on size)
  • Salt & Pepper

Preheat the oven to 180C

If the chops have a thick layer of fat on the outside, try to trim it a bit. Then mix the flour with cumin and coriander (you can add some salt to the flour if you like) and turn the chops in the flour to coat both sides. Dab off the excess flour. Heat the oil in a frying pan and brown the chops  on both sides. Remove from the pan and add the sliced onions to the same pan. Stir the onions until slightly caramelised but not too browned. Do this on a medium heat to ensure that the sweetness of the onions comes through. Add the cider and sugar and bring to a boil. Rapid boil until the cider has reduced by half, it should be slightly syrupy. 

In an ovenproof dish, place a layer of lemon slices, pour over the onion mix with the cider and place the pork chops on top. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for about 20 mins. Remove the foil, add the mushrooms (make sure to coat the mushrooms with the sauce to ensure that they won't dry out while cooking). Return the dish, uncovered, to the oven and cook for a further 15 mins. The meat should be moist and tender.

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