Portuguese pork chops and rice  Pork  87 reads

Portuguese pork chops and rice

from Nadine Levy Redzepi

Serves 2

centre-cut loin pork chops 2 x 340g, cut 4cm thick
basmati or sticky rice 100g
fine sea salt
lemon 1
rapeseed oil 1 tbsp
garlic cloves 6 small
salted butter 45g

Take the pork chops out of the fridge 1 hour before you cook them.

About 30 minutes before you plan to eat, start the rice. Bring 240ml of water and the rice to a boil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan. Stir once, but do not stir again. Reduce the heat to low and cover tightly. Cook until the water is absorbed and little air pockets appear on the top of the rice, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it stand, covered, for 10 minutes.

Don’t stir the rice once it is simmering, as that will make it sticky and lumpy.

Once the rice is simmering, heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Pat the pork chops on both sides with kitchen towels to get them as dry as possible. Season the pork with fine sea salt.

Cut the lemon into 8 to 10 wedges and set them aside. When the pan is very hot, add the oil and heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add the pork chops and cook without moving them until browned on the underside, about 3 minutes. Turn the chops and scatter the lemon wedges and the unpeeled garlic in the pan. Cook the chops until browned on the second side, about 3 minutes more.

Don’t turn the chops until there is a mixture of dark caramel and golden-brown colours on the bottom. This step is where the flavour develops.

Now, add the butter to the frying pan and let it melt. Tilting the frying pan to pool the melted butter, use a long-handled spoon to baste the chops almost continuously for about 2 minutes. Turn the chops one last time and baste 1 minute longer.

Basting the chops with butter will give them flavour, but it also helps make them juicier by adding moisture to the frying pan.

Transfer the chops and lemon wedges to a platter and let the chops rest for 3 to 5 minutes. Season the chops with salt. While they rest, add about 120ml water to the garlic cloves and pan juices in the frying pan and stir over medium heat, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spatula. Cook the sauce until slightly reduced, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

When the chops have rested, slice the meat off the bone in one large piece. Slice the meat crosswise and serve with the rice, pouring the pan sauce over all.


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