Pork chops and flageolet beans with a pork fat and sherry vinegar dressing

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Creamy flageolet beans are dressed with delicious rendered pork fat and fruity, sweet sherry vinegar in this summery dish. Select large, good quality pork chops to ensure the tastiest results. If the weather's nice, why not fire up the barbecue to cook the chops? Just render out the fat in a pan first before cooking through on the grill for a smoky finish.

First published in 2020

Popular in France, flageolet beans are actually young haricot beans picked before they're fully ripened and dried in the shade to retain their beautiful pale green colour. Delicate in flavour, these beans retain their shape surprisingly well, making them an excellent candidate for slow-cooked stews. This dish, however, plays up to their creamy texture by dressing them with rendered pork fat and fruity, sharp sherry vinegar to cut through it.

It is important to choose large, good quality chops; we'd recommend they be at least an inch thick. Any thinner and you run the risk of the meat drying out before the fat has had a chance to render down completely.





Flageolet beans

  • 200g of flageolet beans, soaked overnight in cold water
  • 1 carrot, peeled and halved
  • 1 onion, peeled and halved
  • 2 garlic cloves, bashed but unpeeled
  • 1 sprig of rosemary



Remove the pork chops from the fridge and leave to come to room temperature before cooking
Drain the soaked flageolet beans and place in a pan with the carrot, onion, garlic and rosemary. Fill the pan with water and a pinch of salt and simmer over a medium-low heat for 45 minutes or until the beans are soft but retain their shape
Meanwhile, preheat an oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Season the pork chops well with salt then stand them up in a heavy-bottomed frying pan (a cast-iron frying pan is best), with the fatty edge facing the pan. 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 and reserve for the dressing
Once the fat has rendered and turned golden, cook the chops for a minute on each side then add a knob of butter and the rosemary. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 3–4 minutes, then rest the pork for 5 minutes before carving
Once the beans are tender, drain them and remove the carrot, onion, rosemary and garlic. Reserve the garlic and squeeze the flesh out of the skin into a bowl. Mash the garlic to a paste with a fork and use this as a base for your dressing
Add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to the reserved pork fat, then weigh the total amount. Calculate one-third of this total and add that amount of sherry vinegar to the bowl with the garlic paste. Whisk to combine, then slowly pour in the fat and oil mixture, whisking continuously to create an emulsified dressing
Stir the shallots and parsley into the dressing, then taste and season with salt, pepper and a little more sherry vinegar if you want it sharper
Stir the dressing through the beans and transfer to a serving platter. Once rested, slice the pork and serve warm on top of the beans (along with any meat leftover on the board)

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