Pork chops, Modena style

Waikanae was a surprise. I’d imagined Zimmer frames and mobility scooters, but nary a one in sight. The resident population’s more retirement village than rest home, it seems, and the place much more attractive than I’d imagined. Leafy, quiet, affluent streets. And, of course, if you drive to the coast there’s the black sand beach and in the distance the striking silhouette of Kapiti Island. Afterwards it struck me as extraordinary that I’ve passed through Waikanae countless times, but never once turned off SH1 to have a look. And if it wasn’t for friends having shifted there, I still wouldn’t have.

Anyway, they were there, and we went to stay. And for dinner the most delicious pork loin braised in milk. From a Marcella Hazan cook book. Afterwards John sent us the recipe, and another. Here’s the other. We had it a couple of nights after I returned from Kiribati. Oh, it was delicious! And, even better, easy. So here it is – braised pork chops with sage & tomatoes, Modena style.

25 gms butter

1 tbspn olive oil

4 pork loin chops flour

6 – 8 fresh sage leaves

salt

black pepper

1 tin chopped Italian plum tomatoes (the recipe called for a 200 gm tin, but I used a 425 gm tin without ill effects)

In a pan that can hold all the chops without overlapping, put butter & oil with heat at medium-high. When the butter foam begins to subside, turn the chops on both side sin flour on a plate, shake off excess and put in pan with sage leaves. Cook for about 1 ½ – 2 minutes each side. Add salt, freshly ground pepper, tomatoes. Leave to simmer on a low heat, covered with lid slightly askew, for about an hour. Turn chops occasionally. Spoon sauce (reduced a little if too thin) over chops. Yummy!

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