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Bob Hart’s recipe for the noble, hoisin pork chop

THE NOBLE PORK CHOP

There are few cuts of meat to be cooked on a barbecue grill that offer the absolute reliability, in terms of taste and tenderness, of a well-presented pork loin chop.

My preferred weight is around 300g for each chop. But if you prefer larger or smaller examples, that’s fine. But remember to lengthen or shorten the cooking times accordingly.

And remember, we have long misunderstood the qualities of pork. In Australia at least, it is a healthy meat which by no means needs to be cooked into submission to be safe: in fact, a hint of pink in a finished chop it highly desirable.

So, try this:

First of all, purchase a bottle of hoisin sauce from your favourite Asian market. Because grilled pork chops and hoisin add up to a marriage made in heaven.

Now, bring your chops to room temperature and salt them generously. Also, use a Stanley knife or very sharp kitchen knife to slice through the skin, crossways, on your chops, barely through to the fat, at 2-3cm intervals, all the way down. This will provide delicious squares of crackling – provided your pork is as young as it should be. But if you suspect it is not, remove the skin from the chops and, if you like, cook it separately on the grill with plenty of salt, and crisp it up.

Now, brush both sides of the chops with the hoisin and position  them, at 45 degrees to the bars, on  a very hot (220C+) grill for about 3 minutes, covered, before flipping.

After about another 3 minutes, flip them again but, this time, move them through 90 degrees. And then, after about another 3 minutes or a touch less, flip them again.

It’s a good idea to touch up the hoisin with a brush every time you flip them, but that’s up to you. Your chops are now done, so remove them to a warm platter and loosely tent with foil and rest for about 5-6 minutes. Then, eat!

These chops are great with sweet potato mash which must be made, of course, not with water, but by simmering the peeled and coarsely chopped sweet potatoes, slowly, with salt and pepper, in butter and cream to cover. Mash well when soft.

But beware: this mash, if you have never tried it before, and in the company of a glorious pork chop, may make your head explode!

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