Balsamic-Fig Pork Chops with Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes

Recipe courtesy of "Eat Yourself Smart" by Charlie Ayers, copyright 2008. Used by permission of Dorling Kindersley Limited. All rights reserved.

Balsamic-Fig Pork Chops with Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes

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    4 boneless pork chops, about 175 g (6 oz) each 2 tbsp crumbled blue cheese
    4 slices of "uncured" smoked bacon 2 tbsp soured cream or creme fraiche
    1 tsp Southwestern spice rub 15 g ( 1/2 oz) butter
    A little vegetable oil 1 tbsp milk
    4 tbsp balsamic-fig vinegar (or ordinary aged balsamic) 2 tbsp snipped fresh chives
    675 g (1 1/2 lb) Yukon Gold (or other all-purpose potatoes), peeled and quartered lengthwise Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


    Prep: 25 min Total: 45 min
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    • 1

      Place a sprig of rosemary in the centre of each chop, then wrap a bacon slice around it. Season with the spice rub. Keep chilled until needed.

    • 2

      Heat a ridged cast-iron grill pan. When hot, brush it with oil and add the pork chops, rosemary-side down. Cook for 10 minutes, turning the heat down to moderate after the first 2 minutes. Turn the chops over and cook for another 10 minutes. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar over the chops. Turn the heat down to low and finish cooking, 5–10 minutes longer.

    • 3

      While the chops are cooking, boil the potatoes in lightly salted water until tender, 15–20 minutes. Drain, reserving the cooking water, and return to the pan. Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes with the cheese, cream, butter, and milk. Add the snipped chives and beat with a wooden spoon or electric mixer just until smooth and fluffy. Season to taste.

    • 4

      When the chops are cooked, transfer to plates and keep warm. Pour enough potato cooking water into the grill pan to cover the bottom. Bring to a boil, scraping up any meat residues. Taste the jus you’ve made and season, if necessary. Spoon the jus over the pork chops and spoon the potatoes alongside. Garnish with rosemary sprigs and serve.

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