stuffed pork chops
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There used to be a programme on one of the UK cable TV food channels called ‘Market Kitchen’ which I was not a little addicted to. It was brilliant – filmed in the London Borough Market and in the studio, with chefs preparing dishes right in front of the camera with only an occasional ‘here’s-one-I-made-earlier’. I watched it almost every night except weekends (sad, but not THAT sad), I had my favourite chefs and presenters and ones I couldn’t stand (no names, no names…). Quite a few who are now big names were only just emerging back then. They had a Yorkshire pudding competition once – that must have been trickery, the way they towered, sky-high, out of the oven.
Sadly, it is no more – or rather not in the same formula and with a different set of people so I quit watching it. But I do owe really a lot of recipes, tips and ideas to the old lot.
One of those ideas is below. Pork chops are pretty boring and I’m not usually that keen on them because the meat gets dry, and you can’t really cook pork medium-rare (but I could). So I’m always keen on making them more exciting and here goes: adopted and simplified Aaron Craze’s recipe for ‘cheeky chops’. Aaron Craze started off at Jamie Oliver’s ‘Fifteen’ and I’m sure he is very big now, I hope he still has the predilection for wacky names (‘geezer burgers’ was another dish of his).
stuffed pork chops
- one large pork chop on the bone per person
- a couple of sprigs of sage, leaves stripped
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
- zest grated from 1 lemon
- 20g parmesan, grated
- a little lemon juice
- 1 tsp mustard
- 3-4 thin slices of salami, torn in halves
- a little oil for frying
Trim the skin and most of the fat on each chop. With a sharp knife, cut horizontally through the middle of the meat, right through to the bone, to butterfly the chops or at least to create a sizeable pocket. Season with salt and pepper.Chop the sage leaves very finely, then add the garlic cloves and chop again together until almost blended. Grate the lemon zest over the sage and garlic and add the parmesan. Mix with the mustard and just enough lemon juice to make a spreadable paste.
Put the torn salami pieces into the pockets in the chops, then spread most of the herb and lemon mixture on 1 flap and fold over the other. Secure the opening in each chop with a couple of cocktail sticks skewered along the edge. Reserve about 2 tsp of the herb mixture.
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6. Heat up the oil in a frying pan and fry the chops 2 minutes on each side until browned. Transfer to a baking tray, spread the reserved herb paste over the chops and sprinkle with an extra bit of parmesan, if you had any left. Bake for 15 minutes, leave in a warm place to rest for at least 5 minutes. Serve with green salad, mash or roast potatoes.