Valentine Warner's Pork Chop with Apple and Sage
The other morning, I proudly announced to myself: “I am going to have a pork chop with apples and sage tonight.” With these thoughts in mind, the day went very well and dinner was excellent. It would take too long to write exactly why pork apple and sage go so well. They are just three close and happy friends who have gone through a lot together.
1 x 350g pork chop
1 big dessert apple (Cox is ideal)
a little cider vinegar
a little caster sugar
flaked sea salt
8 large sage leaves
Preheat the oven to 200°C fan/220°C/425°F/Gas 7. Deeply score through the rind of the chop with a very sharp knife at 2cm intervals all the way along. Peel the apples and cut off 2 sides as close to the core as possible. (Eat the smaller two uncut sides.) Splash the apple pieces all over with cider vinegar then scatter a little sugar over them followed by some salt.
Melt the butter in an ovenproof frying pan over a low to medium heat. When it starts to foam, lay in the sage leaves without overlapping. Cook, undisturbed, for a minute or so on both sides, or until crisp, and then transfer to a piece of kitchen towel.
Turn up the heat a little and season the chop well with salt and pepper. Lay the apple piece flat on the chopping board and cut into slices 1/2cm apart, but keeping the apple together. Put them in the pan with the chop, each one as if still in one piece, then push down slightly so they lie ridged in the pan and catch some good colour. Cook the apple and chop for 2 minutes or so, or until the pork is deep and richly browned, then turn the chop onto its uncooked side, spoon some butter over the apple pieces and put the whole pan in the oven for 7-8 minutes or until the pork is cooked but retains the very faintest pinkness.
Put the chop and apples on a plate and pour over a little of the butter from the pan. Pile the crispy sage on top and eat with a good cider.
Taken from The Good Table by Valentine Warner published September 2011 by Mitchell Beazley. Photograph by Jonathan Lovekin