I have to say that pork, outside of it’s delicious bacon form, does not feature all that regularly on our weekly menu! There is no particular reason for this, other than I feel more confident cooking with lamb and beef and chicken.
I have always thought pork was a fatty source of protein, but it turns out this is not necessarily the case. Depending on the cut of pork you choose (loin and tenderloin are the leanest cuts), as well as how you cook the meat, it can be just as lean as a skinless piece of chicken! Shock, right!?! 😱
This recipe requires the pork portions to be crumbed and fried which does knock off a few ‘lean meal’ points, but it is so super delicious I don’t think you will mind. It can be made in less than 30 minutes and served with a simple side salad, it is a perfect mid-week meal. I served ours with my rocket, cherry tomato and bocconcini salad with basil and it worked perfectly. But any crisp salad, preferably with a zingy dressing or vinaigrette, would complement the crunchy pork cutlets.
This recipe was inspired by a Nigella Lawson recipe in her ‘Feast’ cookbook. This recipe is not available online through Nigella’s website, but I have seen it featured on the Food Network, and you can find the recipe here.
Alternatively, you can read on for my adaptation!
2 x pork loin cutlets (approx 500g total)
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 slices of bread, blitzed in a food processor
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp dijon mustard, plus extra to serve
approx 1/4 cup olive oil – for frying (the amount of oil you require will depend on the size of the pan you use).
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes (plus rest time)
Servings: 2 people
Trim the thick fat from the top of the loin chops. If you are trying to be healthy, get rid of the fat. If you are trying to be healthy but can not bear the thought of waste…the fat you trim makes amazing crackle. I’ve heard…🙊
Give the chops a little bash with a mallet to reduce the thickness to about 1.5cm thick.
Spread the dijon mustard on both sides of the meat. Because you are dealing with raw meat, scrape a tablespoon of mustard into a bowl and use that portion to spread over the chops (rather than dipping, then double dipping the same knife into the mustard jar). Set aside.
Whisk an egg lightly in a bowl, and season with salt and pepper.
Blitz the bread in a food processor to form a crumb, then add the parmesan cheese, dried parsley and add salt and pepper to taste. Mix together then transfer to a plate. Assembly line is complete!
Dip the mustardy chops into the egg, then the crumb and coat completely.
Heat the oil in a frypan. The amount of oil you use will depend on the size of the pan you are using. Because you have gone to the effort of crumbing these babies you need a decent slick of oil on the bottom of the pan – otherwise your crumb will stick to the pan and you will be disappointed! You can drain excess oil on some paper towel once you have finished cooking.
The oil is ready to start frying when the chops start to sizzle when you pop them in. Make sure you don’t put them into a cold pan as they will just soak up the oil.
Cooking times will vary depending on how thick your chops are. I cooked mine (which were approx 1.5cm thick) for 4 minutes each side, being super careful to keep the crumb in tact when doing the turn.
You will know your pork chops are cooked when then juices run clear.
Once the pork chops are cooked, transfer them onto some paper towel to drain and let them sit a couple of minutes before serving.
Serve with a fresh and simple side salad and an extra dollop of mustard. ENJOY! 💜