'What could be better than a pork chop?' we hear you say. Well, that is an interesting question. But a good start would be to suggest that four pork chops are infinitely better than one.
And even better than that, we could give you a failsafe way to cook all four pork chops, all in one go.
So without further ado, please let us introduce you to our Rack of Pork.
Cut from a generous portion of pork loin (which on request, can be French trimmed for presentation) this joint gives a lot of bang for its buck.
Throw some floury potatoes, inky cabbage and smoked bacon into the mix – plus an excessive but necessary amount of butter – and you've got everything you need for Sunday lunch or a midweek feast.
The cider gravy and crispy sage leaves all add to the improvement of this recipe but there is only one way you could really go better.
And that would be to order the 8 bone rack of pork instead.
Ingredients – serves four
1.4kg Rack of Pork
Spicy Pig Rub – to season
1 onion, peeled and sliced
1 carrot, peeled and cut into discs
1 celery stick, sliced
1kg Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
250g Cumberland smoked streaky bacon, sliced thinly
300g Cavolo Nero, shredded
100ml double cream
500ml chicken stock
500ml medium cider
Fresh sage leaves.
Sea salt and cracked black pepper, to season
Take your rack of pork, score the fat* and then massage the Spicy Pig Rib into the skin and then leave open on a plate in the fridge overnight (this helps to dry out the skin for crackling.)
Next day, take the pork out and leave to come to room temperature. Meanwhile, heat your oven to 220°C and scatter the onion slices, carrot and celery on the bottom of a roasting tray. Sit the rack on top and add the water around and place into the oven.
Roast for 20 minutes on a high heat and then reduce the temperature to 180°C and roast for a further hour, until the skin has crackled and the juices from the pork run clear. Take from the tray and rest.
Whilst the pork is cooking, prepare your colcannon by placing the potatoes into a large saucepan of salted water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15-20 mins until the potatoes are soft and begin to break up. Drain the potatoes in a colander and leave to steam.
Heat 25g of the butter in a saucepan, then fry the bacon for 5 minutes before adding the Cavolo Nero. Sauté for another 5 mins, then turn off the heat and set aside.
Mash the potato until smooth and heat the cream with another 25g of butter, so that it melts and then add and beat. Finally add bacon and cabbage to potato and mix.
To make the gravy, place the roasting tray back onto the hob, over a high heat and add the cider. Bring to the boil and scrape the vegetables and 'bits' on the bottom to loosen and then pour through a fine sieve into a pan. Add the chicken stock and reduce by two-thirds.
Finally, heat the remaining 50g of butter in a small pan and add the sage leaves to quickly fry and crisp up and drain on kitchen towel.
To plate, carve up the rack into separate chops and spoon the colcannon into the middle of the plate. Place the pork on top and add a good drizzle of the cider gravy all around.
Finally add a sprinkling of the crisp sage leaves and serve with some additional vegetable such as buttered Chantenay carrots.
*We can score this for you - just add to Butcher's Note in shopping basket.