I’m on a sherry vinegar roll right now (I recently bought a bottle of the best stuff) – and along with a good glug of dry sherry, this recipe makes the most of it. Both go extremely well with pork or chicken and fall into the classic French ‘au vinaigre’ category.
The result is impressive as the pork is perfectly complemented by the rich, mellow piquancy of the sauce. It’s easy to make at the last minute, so would be ideal for a special dinner party.
You’ll need to buy lean pork chops on the bone and shallots of roughly equal size.
I also recommend buying a good quality Amontillado sherry so that you’ll always have some to enjoy on the rocks. Sherry gets overlooked as an aperitif these days but I always keep a bottle in the kitchen for enhancing Chinese stir-fry, gravy, sauces and English sponge-based puddings.
This dish will be good served with rosemary roasted potatoes (with or without the added Jerusalem artichokes) – and a leafy salad with a lemony dressing.
PORK with SHERRY VINEGAR, SHALLOTS & THYME (A Delia Smith recipe)
2 lean pork chops on the bone
½ tablespoon of all-purpose flour
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon of extra-v olive oil
8 small to medium sized shallots, peeled and left whole
2 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves
10 fl oz (275ml) of Amontillado sherry
3 fl oz (75ml) of sherry vinegar
1 bay leaf
1 heaped tablespoon of crème fraiche
Fresh thyme sprigs to finish
Season the flour with sea salt and black pepper and sift onto a plate. Dip both sides of the chops in the seasoned flour to coat.
Heat the olive oil in a good sized heavy sauté pan and brown the chops on both sides along with the shallots and garlic, until everything has a golden crust.
Reduce the heat then add the thyme leaves, sherry, sherry vinegar and bay leaf.
Simmer gently, uncovered for approx 20 minutes. Turn everything over (inc the shallots) and continue to simmer for another 20-25 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the crème fraiche. To serve, arrange the shallots and garlic around the chops and pour the sauce over everything. Decorate with a thyme sprig or two.