Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Sweet Drunken Pig

Cotoletta di Maiale alla Marsala e Miele con Puré di Patate e Cavolini di Bruxelle
Marsala & Honey Pork Chop on Mashed Brussels Sprouts & Potatoes

Oh, how I love it when I just throw these quick and easy meals together and they turn out to be fantastic! Now, I know it is not the done thing to "blow your own trumpet" as they used to say in England- but you know? Sometimes, some rules are meant to be broken!

This was just TERRIFIC! Tasty, easy, cheap and cheerful- all of my favorite ingredients! And of course the actual ingredients here are delicious and perfect for the season as well- with a nice splash of Marsala for a little Mediterranean flavor, this makes a perfect crowd-pleasing supper that is bound to impress! Read on!

Ok- this is all very, very simple, but lets start with the mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts, as at between 15 and 20 minutes, these are what takes longest to make. I simply cut the stalks off the sprouts, removed the outer leaves and halved them, then I peeled and chopped the potatoes into pieces into pieces of around the same size as the Brussels sprouts. I boiled them in milk rather than water, which I seasoned with salt, pepper and nutmeg right from the beginning, so that everything would be infused with flavor. I had just enough milk to cover the sprouts and potatoes by about 2". I dropped a clove of garlic into the saucepan too and once it came up to the boil, reduced the heat to a gentle simmer and let everything bubble away peacefully...

As for the pork, I prepared mine on my grill-frying pan for the sake of the scorch-marks, but otherwise you can obviously use a regular frying pan and get the same good results. The secret is a relatively high heat and no added fat. I got the pan really hot and set the pork chop down and let it sizzle away for a good 2-3 minutes without touching it. You are not going to get those nice scorch-marks if you don't let it scorch!

Whilst it was sizzling away, I peeled and sliced a relatively large shallot and added it to the pan when I flipped over the chop, making sure to get it coated and glazed in the fat from the pork. I then set the chop back down on its other side and pushed the shallot to the edges of the pan where it could sizzle away in the juices. Speaking of which, after having sizzled for 2-3 minutes from the other side, it was time to deglaze the pan with a generous splash of Marsala- mmm! I added a couple of leaves of sage and seasoned with salt, pepper and a little paprika powder, then gave it a slight drizzle of honey, just to add a nice glaze and sheen... and the pork chop was done!

I had started the potatoes and sprouts boiling in about 2" of milk deeper than them and by the time the potatoes and sprouts were soft and tender enough for mashing, most of it had boiled away. I mashed them coarsely with a fork and added just a little extra salt, pepper and a splash of olive oil... and I made a point of finding that clove of garlic and crushing that into the mix right from the beginning!

And dinner was served! All done in less than a half an hours- and just as delicious as it looks in the pictures... but don't take my word for it... try it yourselves!

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