“I’m going back to basics here to show you how to make pork chops as amazing as any good steak. The key to delicious and juicy meat is to use a thick, double chop, marinating it in lots of garlic and fresh herbs, and rendering out that fat for incredible flavour. Follow this simple cooking method and you can say goodbye to dry and uninteresting pork chops forever! ”
Place the pork chops, skin-side down, on a chopping board. Carefully run a sharp knife along the edge of the chops, removing the skin and leaving a thin layer of pork fat on the chop. (You could ask your butcher to do this for you.) Set aside.
To make the marinade, pick and finely chop the rosemary leaves and most of the sage leaves, then lightly crush the unpeeled garlic cloves with the palm of your hand. Tip into a bowl and mix with 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Rub the marinade into the pork chops, then cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or preferably overnight.
When you’re ready to cook your pork chops, slice the pork skin into 1cm-thick lardons and place in a large frying pan on a medium heat. Fry the lardons, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes until golden and crisp. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper.
With a sharp knife, lightly score the pork fat on the chops and place one on top of the other. Place the pan back on a medium-high heat, then use tongs to hold the chops fat-side down in the pan and sear for 3 to 4 minutes, until the fat has started to render.
Lay the chops down flat in the pan, throwing in the garlic too, and cook for 7 minutes, turning every minute or so and basting with the lovely pan juices, until browned and cooked through.
With 2 minutes of the pork cooking time left to go, quarter and core the pears, then nestle them into the pan alongside the chops and poke in the remaining sage leaves and cook for 1 minute.
Remove the pork to a board to rest, then reduce the temperature to medium-low and leave the pears to caramelise for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
Slice the pork off the bone and carve into slices and squeeze the garlic from their skins. Serve with the caramelised pear, crispy sage, a little crispy crackling, your favourite style potatoes (I like hasselback) and some seasonal greens.