Agrodolce Potatoes (with Pork Chops)

This was a very last-minute concoction to accompany pork chops, and it was delicious.

You could have it with many other things, for example, roast chicken, guinea fowl, or game. Or on its own with a green salad and some cheese. 

This was for two and there was a little left over. Add more potatoes and a bit more of everything else if for more people. If at any point it looks like it’s drying out, add a little more water to the dish. You want a little sweet-sour liquid at the bottom of the dish at the end. The water softens the dates, emulsifies everything and keeps it soft. A roasting dish that fits everything snugly will also make sure it doesn’t dry out and all get too hot. The potatoes still crisp up on top a little, though!

Ingredients:

3 largish potatoes, peeled and cut into 1inch cubes

a handful of pitted green olives

a tablespoon of small capers

a small handful of dates

5 garlic cloves with skin on, slightly bashed

3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar

a small glass of white wine

a few sprigs of oregano or thyme

3 tablespoons of olive oil

How to make;

Pre-heat the oven to 200C.

Blanche (boil) the potatoes for 5 minutes in salted boiling water then drain.

Place everything excluding the wine in a roasting dish that snugly fits it all. Add salt and pepper and mix to coat the potatoes.

Place in the oven with a little foil over the top for 15 minutes. Turn everything with a spoon, and add a few tablespoons of water.

Turn the oven down to 180C. Return to the oven and cook for another 10 minutes, replacing the foil. Add a little more water – a few tablespoons. Turn again. 

Return to the oven for another 10 minutes.

Add in a glass of wine, and remove the foil

Return to the oven for another 10 minutes.

Serve.

Pork chops:

Get the thickest ones you can find/afford, on the bone. Dry them with kitchen towel and season well with salt and freshly ground pepper just before cooking. Make cuts in the rind that go almost to the meat every inch or so along along the fat, so the meat doesn’t curl up when cooking.

Melt a knob of butter in a frying pan. When it’s frothing, add the pork. Then turn the heat down a little. Turn after 2-3 minutes, basting with the butter, and add more butter if it’s all getting too hot (adding more fat lowers the temperature in the pan quickly). Repeat this once or twice, basting all the while until they are cooked to your liking (I like them just pink). Let rest for a minute or two. Squeeze over a little lemon juice, and then cut into slices to share at the table.

 

 

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