Thursday, 30 April 2009

Pork chops with rhubarb chutney

Ever more rhubarb arrived on the doorstep over the past week or so, either tucked shyly in the vegetable box or splitting the sides of a plastic bag brought down from home. With a view to providing sandwich filling, roast pork accoutrements and an opportunity for sycophancy with the neighbours, I made a big batch of chutney, which we have slowly been chipping away at when not forcing jars of the stuff on our guests.

The other night it made an excellent companion to pork chops. I had a bit of an epiphany with the chops too. The rind, I find, however much you score it, tends to amount to little more than an inedible, chewy annoyance on what otherwise is an excellent piece of meat. However, by cutting off the rind, drying it with a paper towel, rubbing it with salt and sticking it in a really hot oven for 10-15 minutes, you end up with a rather handsome, dainty stick of crackling to serve with your rind free chop.

To make the chutney:

50g butter
2 onions, peeled and sliced
A thumb of ginger, peeled and grated
1kg rhubarb, washed and chopped into chunks
500g caster sugar
150ml red wine vinegar
150ml red wine
Salt and pepper

Melt the butter in a saucepan and soften the onion with the ginger over a low heat for 10 minutes or so. Add the rhubarb, sugar, vinegar, wine and season. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for an hour to an hour and a half, until it has reduced and thickened (it will continue to thicken on cooling). Store in the fridge in sterilised jars.

Serve with pork chops that you have fried for 4 minutes or so on each side, grain mustard and parsley mash, and a stick of crackling. Some broccoli wouldn't go amiss.

First exam tomorrow. I ought to be working.

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