Pork chops with apples and sage – divine!

1 Apr

This recipe uses cider as the cooking liquor and I was a bit concerned it would be too sweet.  I shouldn’t have worried, it was absolutely gorgeous.  I served it with mashed potato and cabbage.  I think cabbage is a really underutilised vegetable and I have no idea why.  I often serve it with mashed potatoes and make sure I make more than I need so I can use up the leftovers in Bubble and Squeak for breakfast the following day.  Mmmmmm!!

Jason Atherton has recently presented in the BBC series, The Great British Food Revival.  His commentary stated that the cabbage, in particular the Hispi or pointed cabbage, is in crisis.  Sales of this type of cabbage have fallen by 71% and of cabbages in general by over 30% since the 1990’s.  The belief is that this wonderful vegetable is unpopular due to memories of school dinners, soggy cabbage, stinking cooking vapours and last, but not least, that it causes flatulence.  Mrs Beeton, no doubt the founder of the soggy, smelly cabbage, has stated in her cookery book that cabbage should be cooked for 45 minutes.Cabbage is also thought of as a winter vegetable, hence the decline in the sale of the summer growing Hispi.  The truth is, however, that today cabbages are grown all year round, so at any time you can select a cabbage that is seasonal and buy it from local producers.

Not only does the cabbage taste wonderful but it is also good for you.  Lincoln University have been doing studies on the health benefits of cabbage.  They have found that there is as much Vitamin C in 1 cabbage as there is in 1 orange.  They also contain Vitamin A which is good for eyesight and the greener the cabbage leaf, the more Vitamin A it will contain. Other studies have shown evidence that cabbages reduce cholesterol and protects against some types of cancer, whilst cabbage juice has anti-inflammatory properties.  The most recent studies show that red cabbage is good for memory loss and there are some suggestions that it may prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s.  All good reasons, I think, to eat more cabbage and follow the lead from Eastern European countries where it is part of their staple diet!

Jason did some fantastic cabbage recipes on the programme.  If you missed it you can watch it on the BBC iplayer.  Here is the link:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0178cf0/Great_British_Food_Revival_Series_Two_Herbs_and_Cabbage/

OK, here is the recipe.  I hope you love it as much as we do!

Pork chops with apples and cider                                Serves 4

  • 4 pork chops
  • 2 tbsp plain flour, seasoned with salt and black pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp unsalted butter
  • 2 eating apples (Braeburn are good for this)
  • 250ml/9 fl oz dry cider
  • 1 tbsp chopped sage
  • 100ml/3 fl oz low fat creme fraiche
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
  1. Heat the oven to 160C/150C fan/gas 3.  Lightly coat the chops in the flour.  Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan.  When the butter is dissolved fry the chops on both sides for a couple of minutes until golden brown.  Transfer to a shallow, ovenproof dish.
  2. Quarter and core the apples then cut into half to make 16 wedges.  Lower the heat in the pan then fry the apples until golden on both sides.  Arrange around the chops.
  3. Deglaze the pan with the cider then pour over the chops.  Cover the dish with foil and cook in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, dependant on the thickness of the chops, or until the pork is tender and the apples are cooked.
  4. Transfer the pork and apples to a serving plate and keep warm.  Return the cooking liquor to the pan and add the sage.  Bring to the boil and reduce by half.  Take the sauce off the heat and stir in the creme fraiche and mustard.  Simmer for a few minutes then pour over the chops and serve. 

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