Delia

Pork Chops with a Confit of Prunes, Apples and Shallots

This is a great recipe. The confit goes equally well with crispy roast duck, and is brilliant served with a rough pork-based pâté.


Serves 4



Pork Chops with a Confit of Prunes, Apples and Shallots
Ingredients
 4 thick British pork chops
 1 heaped tablespoon seasoned flour
 1 tablespoon groundnut or other flavourless oil
 ½ oz (10 g) butter
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
For the confit:
 5 oz (150 g) pitted pruneaux d'Agen
 1 good-sized Granny Smith apple
 4 shallots, peeled and cut into 6 wedges through the root
 10 fl oz (275 ml) strong dry cider
 2 fl oz (55 ml) cider vinegar
 1 level tablespoon dark brown soft sugar
 2 good pinches ground cloves
 1/8 level teaspoon ground mace
For the cider glaze:
 8 fl oz (225 ml) strong dry cider
Equipment
You will also need a solid frying pan with a diameter of 10 inches (25.5 cm).

Method

You can make the confit at any time – the day before, even. All you do is cut the apple into quarters, remove the core, then cut the quarters into ½ inch (1 cm) slices, leaving the skin on. Then just place all the ingredients together in a medium-sized saucepan, bring everything up to a gentle simmer, then let it cook as gently as possible, without a lid, for 45 minutes to an hour – you'll need to stir it from time to time – until all the liquid has reduced to a lovely sticky glaze.

When you're ready to cook the pork chops, dip them lightly in the seasoned flour, shaking off any surplus. Now heat the oil in the frying pan and, when it's really hot, add the butter. As soon as it foams, add the chops and brown them on both sides, keeping the heat fairly high. Then lower the heat and continue to cook the chops gently for about 25 minutes in total, turning them once. While they are cooking, warm the confit, either in a saucepan or in a dish covered with foil in a low oven, while you warm the plates; the confit shouldn't be hot – just warm. After that, increase the heat under the frying pan, then pour in the cider for the glaze and let it bubble briskly and reduce to half its original volume, which should take about 5 minutes. Serve the chops on the warmed plates, with the cider glaze spooned over and some confit on the side.

_This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book Two._

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