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PORK CHOPS WITH THYME, LEMON AND PESTO (homemade or bought)

Regular cut pork chops will do with this recipe, when Jamie Oliver makes this he asks his butcher to cut a two-rib chop, lose one of the ribs. Trim off the excess fat and bat it out slightly – now that’s a real chop! A good butcher won’t mind doing this. The chops are best cooked on a ridged griddle, but you can pan-fry or roast them.

Serves 4

  • 1 handful of thyme, picked
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 x two-rib pork loin chops, or regular chops
  • 1 pesto recipe (see page 232)

Using a pestle and mortar pound, or very finely chop, the thyme with 1 teaspoon of salt. When pulped, add the garlic and 1 teaspoon of black pepper and pound again. Stir in the lemon juice and zest and the olive oil. Smear the mixture over the chops and leave for at least 10 minutes.

Place the chops on a very hot griddle or in a hot frying-pan (they make a bit of smoke, so get your fan on!). Try to get each side nicely charred and golden, but take care and don’t let them burn; if it looks as if they are getting too much colour, turn the heat down. They take about 8 minutes to cook at a medium high heat. Don’t overcook pork, it isn’t necessary and will only make the meat dry. Rest the chops for a few minutes, then spoon some pesto over them.

Serve with a mixed salad and mashed or jacket potatoes, rubbed with olive oil and rolled in sea salt and baked, or steamed rice.

PESTO SAUCE

The words of Jamie Oliver: Pesto sauce is very widely used. Everyone likes it, and it is very handy for a lot of different dishes, including pasta, grilled and roasted meats, and vegetables. It can be served with anything.

Serves 4

  • ¼ clove of garlic, chopped
  • 3 good handfuls of fresh basil, picked
  • 1 handful of lightly roasted pine nuts
  • 1 good handful of grated Parmesan cheese
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper ground black pepper
  • Small squeeze of lemon juice (optional)

Put your garlic into a food processor. If you like a strong garlic taste you can add more but stick to about ¼ clove, which is still quite strong when raw. Add the basil and pulse.  Add the cooled, golden roasted pine nuts to the mixture and pulse. Turn out into a bowl and add half the Parmesan. Gently stir this in and add the olive oil, just enough to bind the sauce and get it to the right consistency – semi-wet but firm.

Taste the mixture, and add a little salt and pepper and the rest of the cheese. Add some more oil and taste again. Keep adding a little bit of this and a little bit more of that until you get it right – this is the way to make pesto.

These recipes are from The Naked Chef by Jamie Oliver


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