Couldn’t get pork belly the other day.
Jatin at Meghna Agro, Pali Market, told me that most of the belly he got recently was high in fat with very little meat. So he didn’t stock those. I called for some fresh pork chops instead.
The last time I made pork chops I used the micro. I planned to make them in the oven this time. Wondered if the settings that I used recently to make pork belly in the oven would work.
I texted my friend Gia “30 min at 200 C will work for chops the way they did for the belly?”
Being a Goan, an understanding of pork runs in her blood. G texted me back “40 min at 180 C would be better. Won’t dry out that way”.
I remembered her other tips. Sear the meat first to lock in the juices. Seal the tray for half the cooking time so that the juices don’t dry.
I used all this training to come up with this 3 step recipe.
Step 1. Marinade
- 500 g chops in 4 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons honey, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons chilli sauce (I used Thai sriracha), 1 tablespoon Chinese 5 spice powder (which Dennis got me from China), 1 tablespoon Thai chilli paste, 3,4 star anise, 2 chopped red chillies, 1 teaspoon vinegar.
- This mix can be changed to your preference. Have fun with sauces.
- Punch holes into the chops with a fork and let it rest for at least 2 hours. Longer the better.
Step 2. Sear
- Heat a flat pan.
- Take the chops out of the marinade and place them flat on the pan with the flame of the hob on high.
- After a couple of minutes when the meat begins to sizzle turn the chops around.
- Repeat and turn off the flame. The surface of the chops would have changed colour
- Place the chops back in to the tray. I placed the chops on some bokchoy that were at home. This was to ensure that the chops didn't stick to the tray. Spoon the marinade on to the top of the chops. Cover the tray with cooking foil
- Preheat oven at 180 C for 10 min
- Put in the covered tray for 20 min at 180 C. The chops will get steamed in the process
- Uncover the foil. Spoon some of the marinade on top of the chops, Roast for another 20 min at 180 C
That’s it. Let it rest for 10 minutes so that the juices settle. Take some pics and eat
The texture of the meat was just right. No wonder I didn’t question Gia’s advice.