Serves 4

Apart from serving them with apple sauce, it's sometimes difficult to think of other ways to jazz up boring pork chops. Obviously if it's a posh chop from a well-established breed of pig, such as Gloucester Old Spot, then it won't be boring, but I mean the dull as ditchwater, cooked-to-death supermarket chops. Do try and buy decent pork; there are some humanely reared and well-fed varieties at farmers' markets and butcher's shops now. At least buy British as imported pork often isn't reared to the same standards.

Apart from serving them with apple sauce, it's sometimes difficult to think of other ways to jazz up boring pork chops. Obviously if it's a posh chop from a well-established breed of pig, such as Gloucester Old Spot, then it won't be boring, but I mean the dull as ditchwater, cooked-to-death supermarket chops. Do try and buy decent pork; there are some humanely reared and well-fed varieties at farmers' markets and butcher's shops now. At least buy British as imported pork often isn't reared to the same standards.

Plums and pork are one of those classic combinations - the Chinese are even more aware of it than we are. And if you have a glut of plums on your hands pairing them with pork makes a change from jam-making. If you want to make a big batch of the spiced plums you can keep them in the fridge in sterilised Kilner jars.

4 pork chops weighing about 200-250g each
1tbsp vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

for the spiced plums

16 greengages, damsons or mirabelle plums, halved and stoned, or 8 ordinary plums, halved, stoned and quartered
50g butter
1/2tsp ground cinnamon
2tbsp cider vinegar
2tbsp water

To make the spiced plums, melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pan, add the plums, cinnamon and cider vinegar and cook on a high heat for 3-4 minutes until they begin to soften. Add the water and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated and the plums are soft.

Meanwhile pre-heat a ribbed griddle plate or a grill, season and lightly oil the chops and grill for 4-5 minutes on each side depending on their thickness. You can cut any rind and fat off and cook it separately under the grill until crisp and serve it with the chops. Serve the spiced plums hot or cold, with the chops.

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