Monday, 31 January 2011

Easy pork chops

This recipe (if you can even call it that) is one of my fall-backs.

When I lived in South Africa, we ate chicken several times a week, because that was what was cheapest. But, while you can pick up a whole chicken really reasonably here, portions are just ridiculously over-priced (and you can't get all the portions I want, either!). Pork is the cheapest meat in the UK.

I never ate pork in South Africa - it tasted very 'piggy'. Utterly vile. However, needs must, so I announced to the family shortly after my first stomach-swooping grocery shopping expedition on these shores that we were going to have to learn to like pork. I bought an economy pack of pork chops and grilled them.

There was nothing to learn. They were great. No 'piggy' taste at all. I have been advised that this might have to do with diet. In the UK (so I'm told) pigs are fed a vegetarian diet, whereas in South Africa, their diet contains animal protein. Whether or not this is true, I have not been able to establish conclusively. All I can tell you is that I don't like South African pork, but I do enjoy UK pork.

In order to add something a little interesting, to pork chops (or loin steaks), I spread a little concoction on each piece before grilling (and I always grill - meat very seldom gets fried in this household). You need to know that pork works brilliantly with fruit... hence the traditional apple sauce. But you don't have to get stuck in an apple rut.

On this occasion, I mixed up about 60ml orange marmalade (left over from the rusks), 5ml black mustard seeds, a bit of barbecue spice and just a little water. Then I brushed each chop generously with this mixture, repeating each time I turned them (I grill pork chops for 4 minutes at a time, turning them 3 times, so that they actually get 8 minutes each side).

You could try apricot jam. Or fig jam. Or mango chutney. You know... whatever. Something sweet and fruity. And if you don't like the mustard seeds, leave them out. Or replace them with cumin seeds. Or (once again) something.

Remember? Experiment. What's the worst that could happen?

Oh, and I served them with potato wedges, carrots, peas and edamame (soya) beans.

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