Really this dish was more of an exercise in plating for me, as I’m trying out new techniques to see how easy it is to transform ordinary food into a gourmet feast for the eyes as much as the mouth. I’ll go into more detail in the serving section. In any case, the recipe still tastes delicious no matter how it’s plated!
Though apples are the go-to for pork, it actually marries with a whole host of fruits very well, the saltiness of the meat bringing out the sweetness of the fruit. With an addition of spice, you really cannot go wrong!
- Pork Chops
- Fresh Blueberries
- Balsamic vinegar
- Chili paste/powder
- Preheat your grill to a medium-heat. You don’t want it too high; nobody likes tough pork. (A good tip to ensure its tenderness is to leave it in brine for half an hour).
- Season the pork with salt and pepper and drizzle over a little oil.
- Spread with a thin layer of runny honey and place under the grill, turning when the colour has changed half-way down the pork. Be sure to save the meat juices that flow out!
- Meanwhile, boil your blueberries in water with a splash of balsamic vinegar. As they soften, being mushing them with the back of a wooden spoon.
- Dissolve in sugar, as it cooks and reduces, continuing to taste to ensure it’s not too tart but equally doesn’t get too sweet. A little chili paste/powder and salt/pepper helps kick it a little.
- Stir through the meat juices and pass through a strainer, removing any pulp. When it has cooled slightly, serve with the pork.
Again, I used this recipe as a chance to refine some of my plating skills. I tried to focus on contrast and a degree of organised chaos – dark colours on the light plate, scattered fruit amongst carefully positioned vegetables.
To do the sauce I used a decospoon – an incredibly useful tool that has proved to be worth every penny. For the other elements I took inspiration from the forest, using the dark greens and browns of the vegetables as a base, set against the more striking reds/purples of the fruit, then a scattering of pepper and a dried sprig of rosemary to complete the earthy feel. Each slice of pork was separated by a wedge of apple, providing both substance and flavour.