Pork chops with brandied cherry sauce

  • Preparation Time12 mins
  • Cooking Time15 mins
  • Serves4
  • DifficultyEasy

For the Pork chops

4 (4-cm thick) boneless pork chops
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 (425g) can whole black pitted cherries in natural juices, drained
Splash of brandy
120ml chicken stock
30g butter, cut into pieces
15g butter, cut into small pieces

For the Courgettes with walnuts

60g, chopped walnuts -- available in small pouches on baking aisle
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium courgettes, sliced into disks, 1? cm thick
1/2 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated or ground
3 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1) Preheat oven to 190C/Gas Mark 5.

2) Put cherries in a small bowl with the sugar.

3) Heat a skillet with an oven safe handle over medium high to high heat or, cover a the handle of a rubber handled pan with tin foil and preheat over same setting.

4) Season chops with salt and pepper. Add 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan, to a hot skillet. Place chops in skillet and sear meat on both sides to caramelize the chops. Place a loose aluminum foil tent over the pan and transfer the chops to oven to finish off, 7 or 8 minutes, until meat is firm to touch, but not tough.

5) While chops are in oven, place a second skillet over medium high heat. Toast nuts 1 to 2 minutes, shaking pan frequently. Remove nuts to cool and add extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan, and 15g butter. Add courgette disks, season with nutmeg, salt and pepper and cook until tender, tossing discs occasionally, 6 or 7 minutes.

6) Remove meat from oven and transfer to dinner plates. Cover chops with foil to keep warm. Place chop skillet back on stove over medium heat. Add a tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan. Add shallots and sauté 1 to 2 minutes. Add cherries and warm through. Add brandy by removing the pan off the burner to add the alcohol, then flame the pan. Burn off alcohol for 1 minute, then add stock. Reduce stock a minute, and then add butter in small pieces. Toss sauce to combine and sprinkle in mint. Pour sauce down over chops and serve the courgettes with walnuts along side.

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