Monday 16 March 2009

Smothered Pork Chops

It's funny how some meals come together. Just after breakfast I was aware that we didn't have any vegetables in the house or anything that could actually turn into a meal. So I started to think about a shopping list.

I saw that what we did have in the freezer was a couple of pork chops, which made me think of Heather's amazing Foodbuzz meal to celebrate Black History Month. She talked about braising pork chops in tomato gravy for 3 hours. I thought that sounded pretty good.

And with that, wheels were set in motion for a Southern extravaganza. Smothered pork chops, cornmeal biscuits and some form of green vegetable, I decided. I found this recipe for the pork chops which had the virtues of being simple and not containing any of the weird processed shit that turns up in a lot of American recipes on t'internet. I figured I would be able to buy some form of collard-substitute (ended up being curly kale). And then Waitrose surprised me with some fresh okra (my mother can now cross me cooking okra off her list of things she never thought she'd live to see).

I cut the rinds and excess fat off the pork chops. And just before you congratulate me for being health-conscious - I then cut the rind into small pieces and rendered them down into cracklins to add to my biscuits, and used the rendered out lard to start my kale in.

I realised at about this point that my shopping list had neglected to mention eggs. So I followed this recipe for Thai crispy fried okra, which doesn't use eggs in the batter. I added some of the seasoning mix from the pork chops to the batter to help the flavours flow.

And I may never cook pork chops any other way. Tender, flavoursome and very straightforward to make. My okra cooking needs some work though. I will have to keep trying.


Heather said...

Yay! I'm so glad the pork chops worked. I made my gravy with a can of whole toms (smashed up with my hands), chicken stock, a whole, small onion (thinly sliced and caramelized) and some spices and such (Worcestershire, Maggi sauce, ginger, chile, cumin, etc.). Next time I'll freeze the leftover gravy. Thanks for the link love!

Okra overcooks really quickly. You could try a tempura batter, I don't think it uses any eggs (but still benefits from a fizzy liquid like beer).

hungryandfrozen said...

Oh wow, everything about this sounds incredible. I must try! Sometimes I find American recipes really difficult to follow (what with the scallions and the cilantro and their sticks of butter and all). You sound like you have a way with pork rind, that's for sure!

Sam said...

This sounds fantastic, So often pork chops can be dry and tough, this could be the solution!

Thanks for pointing me towards the well hung meat company by the way, that's exactly what I was looking for.

NKP said...

The smothered chops sound fabulous! I am still afraid of okra though.

Heather said...

ahhh. drool. yum! the pork chops sound amazing! i love okra too!

Alicia Foodycat said...

Heather - your version sounds delicious (but a bit more complicated than mine). Tempura batter for the next batch sounds good.

Laura - I do have an affinity for pork rind!

Sam - glad you liked Well-hung. They have beautiful meat!

Natashya - once you have had good okra you'll never go back.

Heather - thanks!


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