Pork chops with hazelnut and sage

Gourmet Traveller (Australia) - - Food -

SERVES 4 // PREP TIME 25 MINS // COOK 35 MINS (PLUS BRINING, CHILLING)

You don’t have to brine pork chops, but when you do it sea­sons the meat more deeply and helps them re­tain mois­ture through­out cook­ing. Try this dish with a pear and frisée salad dressed with mus­tard and red wine vine­gar on the side. Be­gin this recipe a day ahead to brine the pork. 2 large pork cut­lets (about 2cm thick), fat cap and skin on

1 tbsp olive oil

2 corella pears, cut into wedges

50 gm but­ter

½ cup (loosely packed) sage 25 gm roasted hazel­nuts, coarsely chopped

Pear and frisée salad (op­tional), to serve

BRINE

325 gm coarse sea salt 150 gm caster sugar 10 black pep­per­corns 2 thyme sprigs

1 For brine, com­bine salt, sugar and 800ml wa­ter in a large saucepan and bring to the boil, stir­ring to dis­solve. Re­move from heat, add pep­per­corns, thyme and 900ml wa­ter. Cool, then re­frig­er­ate un­til chilled (1 hour).

2 Score skin of pork cut­lets at 3cm in­ter­vals, place cut­lets in a non-re­ac­tive con­tainer with brine and re­frig­er­ate for 6 hours or overnight. (Al­ter­na­tively, place in two snap-lock bags, fill with brine and seal well be­fore re­frig­er­at­ing.) Drain (dis­card brine), pat dry and re­frig­er­ate un­cov­ered to dry out (1 hour).

3 Pre­heat oven to 200°C.

Place a sheet of bak­ing pa­per in a large oven­proof fry­ing pan over high heat. Add oil and pork, skin-side down, and cook, ro­tat­ing to colour all the skin, un­til skin starts to crackle (2-3 min­utes). Re­move pa­per, then turn pork and cook, turn­ing once, un­til golden (1-2 min­utes each side). Add pear wedges to pan, then trans­fer pan to oven and roast un­til pork is cooked to your lik­ing (10-12 min­utes for medium-well). Trans­fer pork and pear to a plate, cover loosely with foil and rest for 5 min­utes.

4 Tip pan juices into a heat­proof bowl, then add but­ter to pan and swirl over high heat un­til nut-brown (2-3 min­utes). Add sage and hazel­nuts and cook, toss­ing oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til sage is crisp (1-2 min­utes). Re­turn re­served pan juices to pan and stir to com­bine. Spoon sauce over pork and pear wedges and serve with salad. Drink sug­ges­tion rus­tic farm­house cider.

Pork chops & lamb curry All props stylist’s own.

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