Monday, March 28, 2011

Pork Chops and Cauliflower

I don’t know just how I came to make this dish, except that there was a cauliflower and two pork chops to be used up. Anyhow, the result was delicious, and the remaining cauliflower in its flavoured sauce just as good the following day (even without chops). It can be prepared well before wanted at the table, and will take half an hour to prepare and ¾ of an hour to complete. But one point I have discovered is that real pork chops – meat, fat and bone, are essential. Fat-free, lean, foreign, water-injected pork will produce a much inferior result.

PORK – Pork Chops and Cauliflower

You will need:

1 Cauliflower

Pork chops (one per person)

Ingredients for this (or any) white sauce - butter, plain flour, stock cube, Dijon mustard (optional), grated cheese (optional), pepper and salt, milk, or milk and water

Chilli powder (optional), turmeric (optional for extra colour)

Paprika (to sprinkle on top)

Depending on the thickness of the chops, cook them in a baking tin with a little oil in a hot oven for half an hour (for thick ones).

As you put them in the oven, rest a cauliflower in a little water in a saucepan and boil/steam it for 20 minutes. Make sure that the water does not boil away.

Now make a generous amount of white sauce. Do this in the normal way by melting a large lump of butter in a saucepan into which put 3 heaped dessert spoons of plain flour. Work the flour into the butter. Add to it 1 ½ pints of cold milk, or a mixture of milk and water. Whisk it all together to rid it of lumps, making sure to include the mixture at the angle where the sides of the pan meet the base (a metal spoon run around will draw this in). Keep whisking.

Add to this white sauce a dollop of Dijon mustard (if you have any at hand), a pinch of chilli powder (again, if you have any), a pinch of turmeric (if you have any and want a more glowing colour to the sauce), some grated cheese (optional, but for extra flavour), a stock cube of your choice, and plenty of salt and pepper. Keep whisking. Soon the sauce will start to bubble and be ready to use. Take it off the heat.

The cauliflower will be ready next (having been steam/boiled for 20 minutes). Strain it, using some of the water if you think the sauce needs a little thinning. Use a knife to cut up the drained cauliflower in its saucepan. Cut it into small pieces.

Add the white sauce to the chopped cauliflower and, when the chops are done, use the cauliflower/white sauce to cover and surround them in the baking tin. Sprinkle a little paprika over the top (for looks).

Finish cooking this dish right away with ¾ of an hour or more in a medium oven or, if kept until cold (even until the next day) at least an hour.

The above may sound complicated. But really all it says is this. Bake chops in the oven. Boil a cauliflower. Make a white sauce. Combine the lot. Cook.