Chop Chop, Busy Busy, Work Work, Dinner!

After a rather hectic week of baking, caking & bunny making, a form of nice normality has resumed in the Hungry household.  Breakfast bars full of oats & apricots are baking nicely in the oven & their familiar, fruity fragrance is wafting around the house, a seductive scent of apricots & buttery, toasted oats.  The coffee pot is almost empty, but that can be easily rectified!   It’s always a bit of a limbo day after a long weekend & sometimes Tuesday can feel a bit Monday-ish, so the last thing anyone wants to be doing is making a complicated concoction for dinner tonight!

Our weekends are usually a “fly by the seat of your pants” kind of affair (if Lamborghini made rollercoasters, that would be about right), so an easy week-night dinner is more than welcome.  Although I love cooking, even I like a night off every now & then, so these sticky pork chops are really easy & one of my “chuck everything in a dish” meals (yay, my fave!).  The hardest thing you will have to do is wait half an hour for everything to cook.

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that I like to have a selection of sides in the freezer for mid-week meals & I usually have a couple of pots of my lazy, cheesy mashed potatoes for such occasions (really, who has the time or energy to mash spuds after work?!).  If you too want to be prepared like a cooking ninja, here’s the link to pre-prepped enlightenment:   https://hopeyourehungry.co.uk/freezing-your-assets/.  The best bit?  You can pop them into little oven-proof dishes to cook alongside your chops – no fuss, just fabulous & faff-free!

So, are you ready for dinner?  Hands washed, aprons on & here we go!

What you need:

6 Pork Chops (lean & preferably boned – less cleaning up)
Fresh Sage leaves (approx 12)
6 tablespoons Light Muscovado Sugar
Balsamic Vinegar
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Freshly ground Black Pepper

What to do:

Pre-heat the oven to 200*C.

Drizzle a little of the olive oil in the bottom of a shallow glass dish (I use my lasagne dish).   Please don’t use your best baking tray, because when the sugar caramelises it could possibly ruin it!

Trim the excess fat from the pork chops & just leave a little around the edge.  This will add flavour & you can discard it when they’re cooked (it will just peel off).

Lay the chops fat-side out in the dish & drizzle a few drops of olive oil on top.

Carefully spoon on the sugar, about a tablespoon all across the middle of each pork chop.  Muscovado is a moist sugar, so you don’t need much & it gives a light caramel taste.

Top with a couple of Sage leaves on each chop, gently pressing them down flat.

Drizzle a little Balsamic vinegar & then dust with some freshly ground black pepper.

Bake in the centre of the oven for about 20-25 minutes, turning them over halfway through – be careful not to splash yourself, as molten sugar will hurt!

Once cooked, they will turn a dark, treacle colour.  Remove the dish from the oven, cover with foil & leave on a cooling rack to rest for five minutes.  Remove the fat around the edge before plating up, along with the Sage leaves if you prefer.

Simply serve these sticky, sweet chops with some of my lazy, cheesy mash or a few crispy roasted potatoes & a heap of steamed veg.  They are filling & flavoursome, go with all sorts of sides including fragrant, fluffy rice & I’ve even served them with chips & a gorgeous green salad.

That’s dinner done, just pop the dishes in the sink to soak while you’re eating!  Any leftovers can be sliced into strips & tossed in twirls of pasta, along with some snipped up sundried tomatoes & a little grated Parmesan – easy lunch for work tomorrow too!

Now, get those feet up, grab a cuppa & have a relaxing evening.  Stay hungry 😉  A x