Pork Chops with Lemon, Sage and Crackling Strips

I love to serve these sitting on slabs of grilled polenta, accompanied by a side of garlic sautéed cavolo nero. If you can find chops with a little kidney still attached, so much the better. It adds an extra bosky dimension to the dish. Follow up with some pears and English cheese for a bloody gorgeous autumn feast!

Serves 2

2 thick cut pork loin chops with the rind on

1 tablespoon sea salt

1 tablespoon butter

1 lemon, juiced

6–8 sage leaves

1 tablespoon capers, rinsed

125ml white wine (sip the rest at your leisure)

Preheat oven to 200°C, gas mark 6.

Cut the rinds off the chops and dry thoroughly. Score them well with a sharp knife, or ask the butcher to do it for you. Salt them generously and put directly on the oven rack over a roasting pan for 40–50 minutes, or until golden and crunchy.

Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. (You can do this earlier in the day if you like, just put the strips of crackling into an airtight container when they’re cool.)

Season the chops with a little salt and pepper.

Heat the pan containing the pork fat drips on the hob, and brown the seasoned chops all over. Add a little olive oil if there is not enough fat.

Finish their cooking in the oven for about 15–20 minutes. Take them out, set them aside, and let them rest in a warm pace for another 5–10 minutes.

Deglaze the pan with the lemon juice, then add the wine, the butter and sage, and let it bubble. Finally add the capers and heat them through.

Pour the sauce over or around the chops and place the strip of crackling artfully on top.