Bacon chop with chickpeas and ginger

Serves 4
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Indy Lifestyle Online

I've been doing a bit of curing at home recently and I'm wondering why the hell I've never done it before. When you cure your own ham and bacon there is just nothing to beat it and the great thing is you can tweak the cure to suit your taste. You immerse the meat in a solution of salt, sugar, and spices and just leave it for a few days depending on the size of the meat. It can then be smoked, boiled, etc.

I've cured a piece of pork belly with the bones in here to make my bacon chops. If you can't wait for the curing process to take place, then ask your butcher if he can get hold of bacon chops, or you could use a piece of whole streaky bacon. Thick bacon chops can be a bit on the salty side, so I would recommend simmering them in water for 3-4 minutes before pan frying.

4 bacon chops weighing about 180g each
1tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
A piece of root ginger weighing about 40g, scraped and peeled
A couple of good knobs of butter
1tsp flour
200ml chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 can good-quality chickpeas, drained and washed
2tbsp chopped coriander

Gently cook the onion, ginger and garlic in the butter for 2-3 minutes until soft, add the flour, then gradually add the chicken stock. Bring to the boil, season and simmer for about 15 minutes until the sauce has thickened, then add the chickpeas and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, gently fry the bacon chops in the vegetable oil for 4-5 minutes on each side until golden and cooked through.

Finish the sauce with coriander, spoon on to warmed plates and place the chop on top.