Food & Drink
There are a squillion ways you can prepare a pork chop for dinner but there is always one constant - don't overcook them.
That's the message Westown Butchery boss Murray "Buzz" Sattler wanted hammered home as he thrust a tray of succulent chops under my nose.
"Think of the pigs," he said. "They didn't spend all that time growing for some inattentive cook to ruin their succulent meat. It doesn't matter which recipe you're using or whether you're grilling, baking or using the barbie - if you cook them too long they'll dry out and feel like you're chewing leather."
Roger that Buzz. People from my household, who shall remain anonymous, have fallen victim to the overcooking process and my unique style of diplomacy in pointing this out has had little effect.
Now I can show her this clipping containing your sage advice which will probably result in said chops being thrust under my nose again with a "cook the bloody things yourself then" edict.
Not that I mind hovering over the pots and pans.
Other family members will attest to the fact my special recipe for chops (which I've run before and will do so again) is pretty tasty.
But for this week's offering from Buzz I have opted to use one of my mum's methods.
This involves a modicum of effort but if you like a golden finish with a crackled edge then try it.
You'll need the chops, of course, plus flour, canola oil, butter, seasoned salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper then follow the instructions in the recipe.
"You won't get fresher chops than these.
"They are New Zealand produced and come from farms that have 'Pigcare' accreditation which is set by the NZ Veterinarian Association in conjunction with the SPCA.
"It is not free range pork but the welfare of the pigs we get is of the highest standard as they grow."
He reckons pork is the value for money meat on the market (currently $18.99/kg for chops).
"It used to be the opposite. Back in the '80s it was dearer than beef and lamb. I went to Britain in 1984 and couldn't believe how cheap it was. Now we are a bit the same."
Putting a plug in for local growers, Buzz reckons we should only buy New Zealand pork.
"The returns for pig farmers have not been good enough to sustain the industry here and consequently imported pork has been needed to meet the demands of our domestic market, particularly with bacon and ham."
His assistant, Sarah Hoffman, chimed in with some advice about packaged pork products.
"If it says on the packet that it's made from local and imported ingredients then it won't be Kiwi.
"But you don't have to worry with our shop because everything is wrapped fresh," she said.
GWYNN'S FRIED PORK CHOPS
7 pieces or 8 pieces breakfast chops (very thin bone-in pork chops)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp seasoned salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tbsp butter
Combine all dry ingredients then place on a flat plate before coating each side of each chop then set aside.
Heat the oil over medium to medium- high heat and add the butter. When the butter/oil mixture is hot cook the chops for 2-3 minutes on the first side then 1-2 minutes on the other. That should ensure tender, juicy chops.
BING'S PORK CHOP SPECIAL
Four pork chops
2 onions diced
dash of cooking oil
dash worcester sauce
dash soya sauce
handful of mushrooms (diced)
1 tsp mustard
1 Tbsp of brown sugar
half can of fruit and juice (pineapple, apricot, peaches - your choice)
Lightly fry onions in oil until soft. Place in a bowl and stir in all the other ingredients saving the fruit and juice of choice until last.
Tip the mixture over the chops lying flat in an oven dish ensuring all chops get coated.
Cook slowly at 180 degrees Celsius until the aroma gets too much to bear.
Serve with any of your favourite veges.
- © Fairfax NZ News