About us

We are two friends, one living in town and one in the country, who love to cook and entertain at home. We share a passion for our gardens and for the easy-going lifestyle of sub-tropical eastern Australia. And, yes, we both have garden ponds teaming with frogs.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Sticky pork in chilli-plum sauce

Chilli-plum sticky pork
Down on the farm last weekend we had drop-in visitors who arrived just on meal time. It was a good excuse for a cook-up. After a bit of hunting in the freezer and gathering in the veggie patch, we rustled up a couple of thick-cut pork chops and enough cherry tomatoes to feed four. We found tiny taters in the spud drawer, and plum jam in the fridge.

STICKY PORK CHOPS with sweet cherry tomatoes

Time: 30 minutes to marinate; 30 minutes to cook on stovetop; 10 minutes on the barbecue.
Serves: 4 with vegetables, or crusty bread and salad

1 kg thick-cut leg or shoulder pork (4-5 cm thick)
250 gm or a double handful tiny tomatoes
1 quantity Chilli-Plum Marinade (see below)

1. Make small cuts into the edge of the pork at 6cm intervals so that it will stay flat in the pan during cooking. Slide the point of a sharp knife down beside any pieces of bone, as well, to separate flesh from the bone membrane to prevent curling.

2. Pour 1/3 marinate across bottom of a shallow baking dish or deep plastic tray. Lie the pork in, then pour over the remaining marinate. Cover and let stand at room temperature if using within the hour, or in the fridge for a longer soak.

3. Lift the pork from the marinade and place in a cold heavy-based pan (no need for oil). Cook on medium heat 10 minutes with lid on.

4. Turn the pork; pour on marinade; continue cooking with lid off to begin evaporating the liquid.

5. Turn pork again. Add tomatoes to the pan. Reduce heat to a slow simmer and continue to cook until the juices have the consistency of honey, about another 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the pork rest for 5 minutes before slicing to serve.

6. Meanwhile, between Steps 5 and 6, prepare vegetables or rice or salad to accompany the pork.

7. Cut into thin slices, on the diagonal, across the grain of the meat. Use a very sharp wide-bladed carving knife. Place the pork on a cutting board; hold the knife at a 45°angle and slice confidently. Arrange on a serving platter with tomatoes. Pour over any marinadte from the pan. If it has become too sticky, add a little water and reheat, stirring.

FROGBLOG TIP: If you have time, bring any marinated meat, fish or chicken that has been refrigerated back to room temperature before cooking to prevent “pan shock”. Those that know, say the flesh will be more tender this way.

Marinade for 1kg pork, either a single piece of shoulder, thick-cut leg steak, pork belly or ribs

40 ml light soy sauce (or 20 ml dark soy)
3 just rounded tablespoons plum jam (about 1/3 cup)
1 lemon, for juice and 2 teaspoons finely grated zest
2 cm piece fresh ginger, finely chopped or grated
1 - 2 cloves garlic, crushed (»2 teaspoons)
1 small hot red chilli, finely chopped
Optional, but very good if you have it: 1 level tsp Chinese five spice.

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Heat in microwave for 30 seconds to soften jam; mix well. (Or heat in small saucepan, until just warm). Do not boil, as you don’t want to cook the garlic or ginger before marinating the pork.

Coat both sides of pork. Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes – 1 hour, but in the fridge for several hours or overnight is better.

1. Lift pork from the marinade and place meat on hot pre-heated solid barbecue plate (the sugar in the marinade will burn over grill bars).
2. Cook five minutes on each side.
3. Then coat top side with of the chops with marinade and turn to cook for further 1 minute. Repeat for second side (the marinade has had raw meat in it, so it must come to a ‘sizzle’).

Tuck in and enjoy!

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