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Thick–cut pork chops and passionfruit pavlova | James St

Thick–cut pork chops and passionfruit pavlova | James St

THIS week’s recipes are perfect for either a family lunch or a dinner party. It is amazing how much fun you can have with friends and family over dinner and often we go overboard with preparing our meals, but in general people just love catching up.

The first recipe is thick, salted pork chops, followed by a passion fruit Pavlova. Both of these crowd–pleasing dishes are perfect for all ages and relatively easy to cook, allowing you to take the stress out of hosting and enjoy your time with family and friends.

THICK CUT PORK CHOPS

(Serves 4)

125g table salt

375ml apple juice

8 sprigs sage

1 tsp juniper berries, crushed

1 cinnamon stick

4 cloves garlic, chopped

4 × 450g pork loin cutlets, with the fatty skin scored

30g unsalted butter

1 tbsp olive oil

500ml dry cider

Place the salt in a pot, add 250ml water and bring to medium heat, dissolving the salt. Remove from the heat, allow to cool, and pour the liquid into a container to brine the chops. To the salted water add the apple juice, sage, juniper, cinnamon and garlic. Add the pork, ensuring that it is fully covered in the brine, and cover with cling film. Refrigerate for four hours.

To cook, pre–heat the oven to 200C. Remove the pork from the brine and pat dry. Sieve out the herbs and spices.

Place the butter and oil in a heavy–bottomed casserole dish and heat on the hob. Once the butter has melted, brown the pork chops on each side. Add in the herbs and spices, pour in the cider and place in the oven for 30 minutes or until the pork is cooked to your liking. Remove from the dish and slice.

PASSION FRUIT PAVLOVA

(Makes one large pavlova or six small ones)

4 egg whites

pinch salt

250g caster sugar

2 tsp cornflour, sieved

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

2 drops vanilla extract

750ml cream

10 passion fruit, skin removed, pulp only

Preheat the oven to 120C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Beat the egg whites and salt until you have peaks, beat in the sugar a little at a time until the mix becomes stiff and the mixture has a shiny look. Fold in the sifted cornflour, vinegar and vanilla.

Pour the mixture on top of the greaseproof paper and flatten out the centre so that it cooks evenly. Place in the oven for 2 hours. To check that it is cooked, place a palette knife under the pavlova – it should come away clean. Turn off the oven and open the door.

Peel the paper away. Whip the cream until it has soft peaks and place on top of the pavlova. Remove the pulp from your passion fruit and place on top of the cream. Serve with a little extra cream.

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D.O.B