I came up with this recipe while filming at a brilliant farm restaurant called Coombeshead in Cornwall. It was September and there was a bumper crop of sloes – perfect to cut through the fattiness of the meat.
1 small savoy cabbage (about 400g), cored and shredded
1-2 tbsp sunflower oil
Good handful sloes, bullaces or unripe plums
2 pork chops (each about 250g)
15g butter (only needed if the pork chops don’t yield much fat)
1 banana shallot, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped or grated
100ml red wine
A few fresh thyme sprigs 100–120ml chicken stock
1 tbsp honey or soft brown sugar
Salt and black pepper
- Boil the cabbage in salted water for 3 minutes, then drain. Put it in a pan with the oil, stir to coat, then season. Cover and cook over a very low heat for 20 minutes to soften.
- Prepare the fruit by removing the stones with your fingers or a cherry stoner, or poach for a few minutes in a little water first. This makes it easier to remove the stones. Keep the flesh and the liquid, if poaching, for the sauce and discard the stones.
- Season the pork chops on both sides. Cook them in a frying pan for 4-6 minutes on each side (depending on thickness) or until they reach an internal temperature of 71C. Transfer the chops to a plate, cover with foil and leave to rest for about 5 minutes while you make the sauce. Leave the fat in the pan.
- You want about a tablespoon of pork fat in the frying pan – just keep any excess for another recipe. If the chops haven’t yielded much fat, add the butter. Add the shallot and garlic and soften for a minute or so, then add the remaining ingredients, including the fruit and any poaching water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 3-5 minutes, then season to taste. Serve with the chops and cabbage.
Now buy Rick’s book
Our recipes are from Rick Stein at Home by Rick Stein, to be published by BBC Books on 16 September, price £26. To pre-order a copy for £22.10 with free p&p until 26 September, go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3308 9193.