4 higher-welfare pork loin chops , skin and fat on
1 small bunch fresh sage , leaves picked
1 large bunch watercress
300 ml milk
2 bay leaves
1 sprig fresh parsley , chopped
4 spring onions , thinly sliced
a little butter , melted, to serve
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Good champ is such a wonderful thing, you almost don’t need the chops!
Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6.
Boil the potatoes in salted water for 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain, return to the pan and cover.
Meanwhile, trim the strip of skin from each chop in 1 piece and set aside. Rub the chops with a little oil, then press a couple of sage leaves on to each side. Season well. Heat a wide ovenproof frying pan, add the strips of skin – skin-side down – and place a heavy pot on top to keep them flat. Fry for a couple of minutes until crisp, like crackling.
Push the crackling strips to the side of the pan and add the pork chops. Fry for 1 minute on each side. Transfer the pan to the oven (if the handle isn’t ovenproof, put the chops onto a baking tray). Cook for 10–15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chops, or until cooked through. Meanwhile, chop half the watercress.
Heat the milk with the bay leaves until it boils, then add the chopped parsley, spring onions and the chopped watercress. Switch off the heat and leave the bay leaves to infuse in the milk for a few minutes, then fish out the bay leaves and discard. Add the warm potatoes to the milk and mash until smoothish. Season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover with a lid and keep warm.
Put a little butter on top of the champ and serve with the pork chops, crackling and remaining watercress.