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Tender pork chops with sweet and sour nectarines

The tender, juicy pork chops provide a meaty backbone, while the nectarines contribute a sweet and tangy flavour to this dish.

The concept of sweet and sour has been a cornerstone in various culinary traditions, and it shines brilliantly in this dish. The nectarines are cooked down into a sauce, where their sugars caramelise. Their natural acidity is accentuated with the addition of a few key ingredients like sherry vinegar, orange juice, cardamon pods, and a touch of honey. This sauce envelops the pork chops, creating an interplay of flavours.

Recipe compliments of Reuben Riffel, head chef at Reuben’s Restaurant, Franschhoek, South Africa.

Serves: 4 | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 30-35 minutes

Ingredients

Sweet and sour nectarines

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 nectarines (or peaches), halved and pitted
  • 2 small onions, sliced
  • 2 spring onions, sliced diagonally
  • 250ml orange juice
  • 190ml sherry vinegar
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • Black pepper
  • 5 cardamon pods, split in half

Pork

  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 4 pork loin chops
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the nectarines (cut side down), onion slices and spring onions. Cook them until the nectarines caramelize and the onions have just begun to soften (about 20 minutes). Remove the pan from the heat and transfer to a plate.
  2. Meanwhile, make the sweet and sour glaze. Bring the orange juice, vinegar, honey, pepper, and cardamom to a simmer in a large saucepan over high heat. Lower the heat to medium to maintain a gentle simmer and reduce the sauce until it is thick and syrupy (about 20 minutes).
  3. At the same time preheat oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas mark 6, ready to roast the pork. Combine the brown sugar, pepper, chilli powder, paprika, and garlic salt and oil in a small bowl. Rub the seasoning mix over the pork, coating the meat generously with all of it.
  4. Roast the seasoned pork chops on a foil-lined baking tray for 25 minutes.
  5. Serve pork chops with the nectarines, onions and sweet and sour glaze.

 

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