Pork chops with rhubarb and ancho chilli salsa

4
60 minutes

Ingredients

Pork chop

  • 4 pork chops, around 250g each and at least 2.5cm thick
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 oranges, sliced
  • 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 4 garlic cloves, bashed
  • salt
  • pepper

Rhubarb salsa

  • 200g of rhubarb
  • 100g of tomatoes
  • 1 dried ancho chilli, soaked in warm water
  • 1 shallot, unpeeled
  • 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1 pinch of ground coriander

To serve

  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 bunch of spring onions
  • rock salt
  • 1/4 bunch of coriander

Method

1
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
2
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
3
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
4
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
5
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
6
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
7
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
8
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
9
Place the chops on a bed of spring onions and fresh coriander with the salsa on the side