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Sage & butter-basted pork with pears and squash
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500g butternut squash, peeled & deseeded
2 large, firm Conference pears, each cut into 6 wedges
1 unwaxed lemon, finely grated zest, plus 1 tbsp juice
2 large cloves garlic, bashed in their skins
1 tbsp olive oil
500g pack 2 thick cut British pork chops
1 tbsp butter, melted
½ small onion, very finely chopped
10 sage leaves, 3 shredded
100ml No.1 English Vintage Perry
100ml chicken stock
1 tbsp pine nuts
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Cut the seed end of the squash into wedges about 2cm across, and the rest into large chunks. Toss the pears with the lemon juice in a medium roasting tin. Add the squash, garlic and oil, season and coat well with your hands. Roast for 30 minutes, or until the squash and pears are golden and tender.
2. Pat the chops dry with kitchen paper. Season. Spoon the clear yellow layer of the melted butter into a frying pan over a high heat (discard the white solids). Fry the pork for 4-5 minutes on each side until golden, pressing the edge of the fat and rind to the pan a few times to help it take on colour. Remove to a plate.
3. Spoon off and discard 1 tbsp of the fat in the pan. Add the onion to what’s left and cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes, until golden and softened. Stir in the shredded sage, plus the lemon zest. Cook for 2 more minutes until aromatic. Spoon this on top of the chops.
4. Pour the perry and chicken stock into the pan, scraping the pan with a spatula, then bubble the sauce for 5-10 minutes until reduced, but not quite syrupy (that bit will happen in the roasting tin). When the pears and squash are ready, pour the sauce around them, then top with the pork chops and any juices from the plate. Scatter with the whole sage leaves and the pine nuts and roast together for 5-8 minutes, or until the pork is cooked through with no pink meat and the juices run clear, and the pine nuts are toasted. Serve with seasonal greens (and a glass of the leftover perry, if desired).
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in September 2021.