Pork chops with rhubarb and ancho chilli salsa


First published in 2020
Share recipe

The key to perfecting pork chops is in the chop selection as much as it is the cooking.The fat on a chop needs a long, slow render, whereas the lean meat only needs a few minutes to ensure it stays juicy. Therefore choosing a thick chop (one inch at the very least) is important.

Choosing organic or free-range pork results in a far superior flavour as well as obviously better welfare for the animals.




Pork chop

Rhubarb salsa

To serve

Begin by marinating the pork chops. Place the meat in a non-metallic container or sandwich bag with the oil, orange slices, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix to coat the chops equally and leave in the fridge overnight or for as many hours as you can spare
Bring the chops out of the fridge half an hour before cooking to allow to come up to room temperature. Pat the chops dry with kitchen paper then sprinkle with salt and stand them up in a heavy-bottomed griddle or frying pan (cast-iron is ideal), fat-side down (you may need to use two pans.) You can use a spoon or pair of tongs to keep them propped up – the flesh shouldn't touch the pan as you only want to be rendering the fat at this stage
Cook slowly over a low heat until the fat has melted right down and is a deep amber colour (about 15–20 minutes). Drain the pan of fat periodically into a bowl
Meanwhile, preheat an oven to 180°C/gas mark 4 and make the salsa. Place half of the rhubarb, the shallot, garlic and tomatoes over an open flame. This could be directly onto a gas hob, over a flaming barbecue or by using a blowtorch to blacken. Use tongs to rotate the fruit and vegetables until the skins are charred and the insides soft
Peel the blackened shallot and garlic skins and roughly chop the flesh, then place in a blender. Scrape away the blackened tomato and rhubarb skin then add these to a blender too
Remove the stalk from the soaked chilli then add it to the blender. Slice the remaining raw rhubarb and add this to the blender, then blitz to a rough salsa consistency. Taste and season with salt, pepper and a pinch of ground coriander
Once the pork chop fat has rendered right down, cook for 1 minute each side then transfer to the oven and cook for 4 minutes. Rest for 5 minutes before serving
Whilst the pork rests, toss the spring onions with the oil and char in a hot griddle pan for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with rock salt
Place the chops on a bed of spring onions and fresh coriander with the salsa on the side
First published in 2020
Share recipe