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This recipe does seem a bit adventurous with rendering pork back-fat and Mizuna salad, if you look beyond these I think it will be tasty, quick and easy and a gourmet treat.  If you are still not convinced, replace the rendered pork back -fat for olive oil or vegetable oil and serve with your favourite green salad.

I am going to give it a try – I hope you do too.

Serves 4

  • 50gm pork back-fat, finely diced (see notes below) or 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 120gm honey
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary
  • 1 lemon, halved


  • 875g (31/2 cups) chicken stock (gluten free)
  • 60mls (1/4 cup) milk
  • 120gm (3/4 cup) polenta
  • 20gm (1/3 cup) finely grated parmesan

ROCKET, MIZUNA AND WHITE NECTARINE SALAD (if this seems too complicated any green salad will be great).

  • 2 cups (loosely packed) wild rocket
  • 1/2 bunch mizuna, leaves picked (Japanese greens also know as Xiu Cai, Kyona – similar to rocket with a peppery flavour)
  • 1 white nectarine, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 golden shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp champagne vinegar

Preheat oven to 180C. For parmesan polenta, bring stock and milk to the boil to the simmer in a saucepan over medium heat, gradually add polenta, stirring continuously, then stir occasionally until polenta thickens (10-15 minutes). Just before serving, stir in parmesan and season to taste.

Heat fat in an ovenproof frying pan over high heat until rendered (5 minutes). Remove fat pieces with a slotted spoon and discard, (or if using olive oil heat the oil), then add pork chops to pan, season to taste and cook until golden (2 minutes each side). Add honey and rosemary, season to taste, squeeze over lemon and roast until pork is just cooked (5-10 minutes).

Meanwhile, for mizuna and white nectarine salad toss ingredients in a bowl to combine, then serve with parmesan polenta and pork chops drizzled with pan juices.

* For this recipe the lard has been rendered by cooking pork back-fat in the pan before adding the pork chops, you could render a larger batch to have on hand – it enhances the flavour of many meat dishes. We recommend making your own because it has far more flavour than the shop-bought version. Cook diced pork back-fat with 1cm of water in a saucepan over low heat until the fat is melted, then strain, chill, and lift the fat from the excess water and particles in the base of the pan.

This recipe is from the February 2011 issue of Gourmet Traveller.


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