When it comes to getting a quick roast dinner on the table, nothing beats pork chops. For this recipe, select smallish apples and thick-cut pork chops.
- 2 pork chops
- A few splashes olive oil
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 small Granny Smith apples
- 4 small roasting potatoes, washed with skins on
- 2 small onions, peeled and sliced
- ¼ cup white wine or apple cider vinegar (or water)
- 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- Preheat the oven to 250°C.
- Pat the chops dry, rub with a little olive oil, sprinkle with fennel seeds and rub salt into the skin.
- Using a sharp knife, score the apples around the middle to stop them bursting during cooking. Make some cuts in the potatoes too, as this will help them cook faster. If you can, balance the chops upright with their skin-side up between the apples and the potatoes in whatever ovenproof dish you’re using.
- Add the onions and a splash of olive oil to the dish, then place in the oven, near the top. Cook until the pork skin begins to blister and puff – this can take longer than you think, so have patience.
- Once it has started to go golden, add the ¼ cup wine or vinegar and put the dish on a lower level of the oven, reducing the temperature to 220°C. Cook for 20 minutes more or until the chops and potatoes are cooked through.
- Serve pork chops drizzled with the pan juices, a dab of mustard, the potatoes and the apples that have turned into sauce. I also like to add a handful of freshly shredded red cabbage, dressed simply with a splash of lemon juice or fruity vinegar.
Nici’s top tip for perfect crackling:
To get perfect crackling, make sure the skin is dry and salted before you start cooking. For the best results, I leave mine in the fridge, uncovered, overnight. Start cooking the crackling on a high heat, near the top of the oven – it can take 20 minutes for it to puff perfectly.
By Nici Wickes