TAKES 1 HOUR 35 MINUTES
From the shoulder end of the pig, the marbling that runs through the spare rib pork chops slowly melts and bastes the meat as it cooks. Here the 30 or so minutes in the oven and the rest at the end allows the fat to mingle with the vegetables for even sweeter peppers and melting potatoes. The acidity of the tomatoes, capers, white wine and lemon cut through the fat for a dish that will settle you into a summer evening on any night of the week.
The English Spare Rib or ‘Chine’ chops are between the backbone and underside of the collar bone, it is a continuation of the loin, which runs up into the shoulder. Back in the 1950’s-60’s they would call them ‘spare rib chops’. If it was on a cow it would be known as the ribeye or cote de boeuf.
Tim’s Top Tip: Do not attempt this recipe with a loin chop as there’s not enough fat on it, and the resulting meat would be incredibly dry.
1. Pre heat your oven to 160˚C fan
2. Season the pork chops with 1 tsp salt and 1 tbsp olive oil, set aside for later.
3. Par-boil the baby potatoes in salted water for 10 minutes, drain and set aside to cool.
4. Set a wide, heavy set skillet or frying pan on a medium heat, pour in 1 tbsp of olive oil and add the diced red onion, fry gently for 15 minutes until softened but not browned. Add in the garlic, chilli flakes and diced peppers, continue to fry for a further 15 minutes until the peppers have softened and become sweet.
5. Pour in the white wine to deglaze the pan and bring the heat up to medium high, cook the alcohol off for 7 minutes.
6. Pour in the tinned tomatoes and chicken stock, stir to combine. Season with a little salt and pepper at this stage. Bring to a rolling simmer and allow the sauce to reduce to a thicker consistency, it should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
7. Scatter in the black olives, capers, dried oregano and potatoes at this stage, stir well to combine. Turn the heat off and set aside.
8. Set another skillet or heavy-based frying pan on a medium heat, when almost smoking, carefully place the two pork chine chops into the pan, fry one side for 6 minutes then flip over and fry for another 6 minutes, adding the knob of butter and basting as you go - you only want to brown these chops as the oven will finish cooking them through.
9. Once browned, lift out of the pan and place on top of the tomato and pepper sauce, nestling them into the pan so they fit snuggly.
10. Place in the oven and cook for 35 minutes.
11. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes so all of those lovely meat juices run into the sauce.
12. Serve in shallow bowls, a chop per person with a generous helping of the Mediterranean veg and sauce, garnish with chopped parsley and a squeeze of lemon (optional) enjoy!
• Olive oil
• 2 spare rib or chine pork chops
• Knob of butter
• 200g baby potatoes, halved
• 1 large red onion, diced
• 1 tsp chilli flakes
• 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
• 1 red pepper, diced
• 1 yellow pepper, diced
• 1 green pepper, diced
• 125ml white wine
• 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
• 300ml chicken stock
• Handful of black olives
• 1 tbsp capers
• 1 tsp dried oregano
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Parsley, chopped for garnish
• 1 lemon, halved for squeezing (optional)