The online magazine
dedicated to the
discussion & revival
of British foodways.

NO.54
FALL2017

‘Summer Hill’ pork chops.

This concept only could have originated in the confused culinary circumstances of the Raj. It is based on a flawed recipe from Pat Chapman with an underseasoned marinade. There is nothing wrong with Chapman’s concept; it only requires better execution, and forms the basis for this good way to cook plain pork chops, a difficult endeavor now that they are bred past lean to the point of anorexia. In common with the original it also requires time; 24 hours to marinate according to Chapman, at least 48 according to us. For four chops.


 

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  • 3 Tablespoons decent olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons milk
  • 2 or 3 minced garlic cloves
  • heaped teaspoon garam masala
  • hot sauce
  • substantial slug of Worcestershire
  • 2 or 3 Tablespoons apricot brandy (!)
  • 4 thick pork chops
  • salt and pepper
  • neutral or, better, mustard oil
  • scant ½ cup pork or chicken stock

 

  1. Whisk together everything but the chops and stock, and marinate the chops in the sauce for a good 48 hours.
  2. Pat the chops very dry and reserve their marinade.
  3. Generously season the chops.
  4. Put a decent slug of oil into a large heavy skillet over high heat. When it just begins to smoke, drop the chops into the skillet and sear them just until they color on each side.
  5. Dump the stock into the skillet. It will boil hard; as it does, pour the marinade you have saved around the chops, return the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the skillet.
  6. Simmer the chops until barely fork tender; it should not take long.
  7. Remove the chops from the skillet to rest in a warmish spot for a few minutes while you reduce the pan juices to a syrupy sauce.
  8. Serve the chops with the pan sauce.

Notes:

-As is often the case, and as noted in the introduction, here as in other recipes Chapman underseasons his food. In another respect, however, he is not at fault. Chapman would have us broil the chops, which no longer is viable unless you raise your own heritage pigs or know a friend who does. It is better to sear and braise the ultralean pork that dominates the market.

-The inclusion of apricot brandy may sound strange, but it represents a typical technique of Raj foodways. It gives the curry a fruity kick and serves a practical end. Unlike an apricot, brandy does not spoil fast in the high heat of an Indian summer. Colonel Kenney-Herbert, the great ‘Wyvern,’ preferred the archetypally British currant jelly to the ‘authentic’ tamarind for flavoring his equally British, and thoroughly good, curry sauces.