Alberto and I were both back to work yesterday after the exhausting excitement and fun of Brighton Pride so I thought I’d cook this tasty little recipe for us in the evening. The recipe, as written, uses Calvados to flambé the chops, but I used ordinary brandy, rather than shell out for a bottle of Calvados, just for two tablespoons worth. It worked just as well and was just as tasty. And I managed to light it without taking my eyebrows off, which is always a bonus! The recipe is from the book The Food of France.
I opted for two chops per person as we were both quite hungry and kept all of the other proportions the same. I did over-reduce the sauce slightly but it was still tasty.
2oz of butter
2 dessert apples, cored and cut into wedges
½ a teaspoon of sugar
4 x 200g pork chops
2 tablespoons of Calvados or brandy
2 shallots, finely chopped (the recipe said French shallots (I suppose a French cook book would!) but the only options available at Sainsbury’s were round shallots and banana shallots, so I opted for the round ones.)
250ml of dry cider
125ml of chicken stock
150ml of double cream (cream and booze – two sure signs that a recipe is French!!)
Melt half the butter in a small frying pan, add the apple wedges and sprinkle over the sugar. Cook on a low heat, turning occasionally until tender and glazed.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan and sauté the pork chops until cooked through, turning once.
Pour the excess fat from the pan, add the Calvados and flambé by lighting the pan with a long match. (Be careful!! Have a pan lid to hand, just in case!) Once the flame is out, transfer the pork to another plate and keep warm. (I popped them on the bottom shelf of the over, which I was using to roast the accompanying asparagus. I covered them with tin foil so that they wouldn’t dry out.)
Add the remaining butter to the pan and cook the shallots until soft but not coloured. Add the cider, stock, cream and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the sauce thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Season the sauce, add the pork and simmer for 3 minutes to heat through. Serve with the apple.