Iron Age Pork Chops with Fennel and Apple

The name Iron Age Pork refers to The Blackface Meat Companies pigs which are a cross between a Wild Boar and a Tamworth Sow, the resulting pork is full flavoured and nice layer of fat adding to its taste. In this recipe the chops are slowly cooked in the oven with fennel and apple to create a tasty warming dish on cooler nights. In this recipe I have used whole untrimmed fennels so I can use their tops as a herb if you have trimmed fennels add a couple of tablespoons of chopped dill to the dish just before serving.

Portions: 4 Portions

Preparation: 20 minutes

Cooking: 45 minutes

Ingredients

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  • 4 thick cut x225g-250g Blackface Iron Aged pork chops or another good free range or organic pork chops
  • 2 onions, peeled and sliced
  • 1 large Bramley cooking apple, peeled decored and roughly chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped thyme, rosemary and sage
  • 2 fennels, core removed and sliced
  • 6 tbsp fennel tops roughly chopped (if using otherwise 2 tbsp chopped dill to add at end of cooking)
  • 250ml White wine
  • 250ml water or stock (chicken or pork)
  • maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil

Method

  1. Preheat an oven to 170C.
  2. Heat a little olive oil in an oven proof pan with a lid. Place over a moderate high heat. Season the chops with a little salt and pepper. Seal the pork chops in the hot frying pan so that they are lightly browned on both sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Sauté the onion in the pan over a moderate heat until transparent, add the remaining ingredients except the wine and stock. Continue to cook for 2 minutes stirring regularly. Stir in the wine and stock or water bring to a strong simmer. Return the pork to the pan, cover with a lid and place on the centre shelf of the preheated oven. Leave to cook for 45-50 minutes.
  4. When cooked remove from the oven and place the pork chops on four warm plates. Stir in the dill if using into the fennel and apple, season to taste and spoon the apple and fennel with some of the liquid over the chops. Serve with boiled or mashed potatoes.