Our children have grown up and left, and now work away from home. For those mothers like myself whose lives have been devoted to and shaped by our kids, we now have to fill our days with a lot of " things to do", so as to avoid the feeling of unemployment or redundancy.
Luckily I have many interests as well as things that need doing; reading, painting, taking photos, writing the blog, writing other things, cooking, house work, exercise; looking after my husband and our dog, and so on. I feel as if there aren't enough hours in a day for me to use!
What I quite often miss nowadays is having lunch or tea with friends more regularly. For a long time now some mothers of our children's classmates and I have been very good friends. When the children used to play together, we would get together too.
J is one of them. We've known each other since the first day our daughters went to kindergarten with their teddy bears. Although her family moved when the girls started year 9 and her daughter changed school, we've stayed in touch and remain in contact. Every once a while we meet up. I went to her house to have lunch with her before Christmas, so it's my turn to cook for her this time round.
It so happened that I was very busy the couple of days before she came and didn't have a lot of time to prepare. We had some pork chops in the fridge, and I remembered the pork chops with balsamic and rum sauce recipe that I have cooked before; very easy to do but so delicious, and very popular whenever I serve it to family and friends. Most importantly, I can take this opportunity to write out the recipe in English for my daughter, as she has always wants to share it with her friends.
J 準時 12.30pm 到達。我們隨聊天隨一起弄午飯，非常無拘無束。她幫我切蘋果作蘋果奶酥用來做我們的甜品。我照例替食物拍照。她笑著提醒我，在寫網誌時別忘了要說到她對這個午餐貢獻的勞力。我自然欣然從命 : )
J arrived punctually at 12.30pm. We cooked and chatted together; our time was so fun and relaxed. She helped me make apple crumble for our dessert. I took photos of the food as per usual. She jokingly reminded me to credit her for her service contribution to this lunch. To which I gladly obliged : )
( 3 - 4 人用 )
- 豬排 4 塊。1 1/4 吋左右厚度的里脊肌豬排 pork loin chops 最理想。
- 黃砂糖 100 g ( 黑軟糖 muscovado sugar 更好 )
- 黑香醋 balsamic vinegar 2 湯匙
- 紅酒 4 湯匙
- 牛油 20 g 另加 橄欖油 1 湯匙
- 中號紅洋蔥 2 隻切長三角大塊 wedges
- 小蘋果如 Braeburn 或 Cox 2 隻去皮去心，每隻切成 8 片
- 把一半的紅酒、全部的醋和糖在小煲內用小火煮開後續煮 2 - 3 分鐘。
- 把大的平底易潔鍋用 中火 燒熱，下牛油溶化後加入洋蔥炒 5 分鐘，下蘋果一起再炒拌 5 分鐘。
- 把洋蔥蘋果全推至鍋邊，轉大火，中間下橄欖油燒熱，把豬扒排進，注意每塊豬排之間要留有空隙，才不會煎到出水。更不要太緊貼 洋蔥蘋果。大火每面煎 2 分鐘至微焦。
- 把小煲內的濃汁倒入平底鍋去，不加蓋用小火煮 5 - 10 分鐘，視豬排的厚薄和是否帶骨而决定。中途把豬排反轉一次。用刀尖刺進，流出的汁液仍帶粉紅的話，再煮一小會，如淺褐色便是已熟。如用肉類温度測量器探測的話，剌進時顯示 71C 便可以起鍋了。
- 把豬排和洋蔥蘋果分別盛起，汁仍留在鍋中，加進餘下的一半紅酒齊煮 1 - 2 分鐘收乾一點便可熄火，把汁傾入盛洋蔥蘋果的碗中上桌。
Pork Chops with Red Wine and Balsamic Reduction
( serve 3 - 4 )
- 4 Pork loin chops, each about 1 1/4 inches thick
- 100 g brown sugar ( best if use muscovado sugar )
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 4 tbsp red wine
- 20 g butter plus 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium size red onions cut into big wedges
- 2 Braeburn or Cox apples peeled, corded and cut into 8 pieces each
- Put pork chops on chopping board. Use the back of a cleaver or a meat tenderiser to puncture the meat and soften the fibers of the muscle. Seasoned with salt and pepper.
- In a small sauce pan, add half of the red wine, all the vinegar and sugar; bring to the boil and simmer for 2 - 3 minutes.
- Heat up a large non - stick flat base frying pan with medium heat, melt the butter, then fry the onions for 5 minutes, add the apples and fry together for another 5 minutes.
- Push all the onions and apples to the side of the pan. Turn the heat up, add olive oil, put the pork chops in; keep some spaces between each chop to avoid them over crowded and being steamed rather then fried. Pan fry each side of the pork chop for 2 minutes until golden brown.
- Pour the sauce from the small sauce pan into the frying pan, cook on low heat and uncover for 5 - 10 minutes depends on how thick the chops are or if they have any bones. Turn over once, use a knife to cut into the meat to see if the juice comes out light brown or clear, if juice still pink then cook a little longer. If using a meat thermometer, when the temperature reaches 71C then the chops are ready to be taking off the heat.
- Plate up the pork chops, lift the apples and onions into a bowl, leave the juice in the frying pan; add the rest of the red wine and cook 1 - 2 minutes to reduce the sauce, then pour into the bowl of the apples and onions to serve.
This time, I used red wine instead of rum and served the pork chops with rice instead of mashed potatoes, which make it even quicker to prepare. If you want to cook a scrumptious, special yet simple to make pork chop meal, I would strongly recommend this to you.