Fennel seed crusted pork chops with quince and apple compôte
- October 2015
- Serves 4
- Hands-on time 30 min, oven time 20 min, plus marinating
Debbie Major uses ancient, autumnal quinces to make a compôte bursting with flavour in this aromatic pork chop recipe.
- 14.3g (6.5g saturated)
- 37.4g (36.5g sugars)
- 4 large free-range pork loin chops on the bone, cut 2.5-3cm thick
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- 2 fat garlic cloves, finely chopped
- Large fresh rosemary sprig, leaves picked and finely chopped
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt flakes
For the quince and apple compôte
- 1 lemon for squeezing
- 1 large (250g) bramley apple
- 2 eating apples, such as cox
- 450g quinces
- 6 tbsp caster sugar
- 30g unsalted butter
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- Trim any overly thick skin from the pork chops if necessary, then make shallow cuts at 2-3cm intervals along the fatty edge of each one to stop them curling when cooked. Lightly score each side of the chops, first in one direction, then the other, into a diamond pattern. Put the chops into a large shallow baking dish in which they can lie side-by-side in one layer.
- Lightly crush the fennel seeds in a pestle and mortar, then mix in the chilli flakes, garlic, rosemary, olive oil, sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Rub this mixture generously over both sides of each pork chop, then set aside in the fridge for at least an hour (or overnight if you can).
- Heat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/ gas 7. Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the chops (in batches if necessary) and cook gently for a couple of minutes on each side until lightly browned. Return the chops to the baking dish, then roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes (they’ll need a bit longer if they’re very thick) until cooked through but still juicy in the centre.
- Meanwhile, for the compote, squeeze some lemon into a large bowl of cold water, then peel, core and thickly slice both types of apple and the quinces. Put their flesh in the bowl as you go, to stop it browning. Put the sugar and 2 tbsp cold water into a sauté pan or deep frying pan, put it over a low heat and dissolve the sugar. Increase the heat and cook until you have an amber coloured caramel, then add the butter (be careful – it may spit) and swirl around until melted. Drain the prepared fruit, add to the caramel and cook, stirring every now and then, for 10 minutes until softened slightly and the juices have reduced and thickened. Add the ground ginger, then cook for 5 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.
- Remove the chops from the oven, cover with foil and leave them to rest somewhere for 5 minutes. Serve with the warm compote and some seasonal greens.
Debbie says; “Try to buy large, meaty loin chops with a good layer of fat, preferably from a butcher. They will make all the difference to the success of this dish.”
Marinate the pork up to 48 hours in advance. Keep covered in the fridge until ready to use and bring to room temperature before frying.
The compote can be made up to 48 hours in advance as well. Reheat in a saucepan over a low heat just before you’re ready to serve.
Drink an off-dry, unoaked white such as vouvray or a New Zealand pinot gris, or serve a medium-dry cider.
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