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The recipe…

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Since my attempts to be clever or, at least, to find software to be clever on my behalf, did not amount to much, here is some more on the recipe I was working with:

Ardennes Pork Chops with Cider and Caramelized Apples

Source: Dave Myers and Si King in The Hairy Bikers Ride Again (pp. 178-9)


2 Pork Chops
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 onion
75g smoked bacon
150g shallots
button mushrooms
bouquet garni
250ml cider
2 cooking apples
2 tsp dijon mustard
200ml fresh cream
salt and pepper

The method involves working two pans at once – ideally a large frying pan or sauté pan and griddle pan large enough for the chops. To start with, the fat along the back of the chops is rubbed with salt and they are stood on their backs in the griddle pan. Meanwhile, chopped bacon and onion is lightly browned in the other pan. The chops then go on their sides while the peeled shallots (about 6 gave me a little over 150g before peeling) and bouquet garni (I used dried myrtle and bay leaves along with fresh rosemary, all from the garden) are added to the bacon and onions. Mushrooms could also be added here but I forgot to get any with all the palaver over getting the list together before I went shopping!

The chops get browned on both sides (they should be developing sear lines from the griddle) and the shallots are turned once or twice. Cider is then added to the frying pan, brought to the boil and the chops and their juice are transferred across and the heat turned down to a simmer. The griddle is turned low and peeled apple segments are browned on it, again picking up some colour — I only needed one apple.

After ten or so minutes, the chops can be set aside to relax and dijon mustard and cream are added to the sauce along with salt and pepper to taste. Finally, the dish can be assembled, garnished and served. I accompanied it with chard and potatoes, both from the garden.

It was very tasty although I can think of a few tweaks, not least to reduce the amount of cream. I only had 150ml and I think 100ml or less would have been enough. I think I will cook this again but will give the chops even longer searing on their backs to make the most of the fat – it was tasty but could have been cooked to a point of greater succulence. All in all, a rich but satisfying meal although not one to have too often.

As a side note, I found another Android program called Recipe Distiller, which combines recipe book and grocery list. The app has an associated website, so recipes can be entered on a larger computer, and ingredients from the recipes can easily be added to a shopping list. The best feature though is the ability to “distill” a recipe from a website simply by feeding it the URL. It worked very well on a test I did from Jamie Oliver’s site; after I have posted this entry, I will point it here to see what it makes of the format I have used.

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