1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon sea salt, plus extra for seasoning
4 large thick loin or spare rib pork chops
3 tablespoons rapeseed oil
1 large red onion, cut into 1cm dice
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2.5cm pieces
Freshly ground black pepper
120g dried cranberries
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 2.5cm pieces
120ml dark rum
Pork with fruit is a natural combo, and one that appears in many cultures. The Chinese have sweet-and-sour pork with pineapple, for example, and Brits and Americans alike enjoy pork with apple sauce. For this easy pork-chop dish I’ve upped the ante by combining dried fruit – cranberries – with fresh, tart apples. I’ve also added a hash made from nature’s most nutritious spud, the sweet potato, so the dish really takes off.
Preheat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas mark 6. First make the rub. In a small bowl, combine the paprika, ground ginger, sugar and 1 tablespoon salt. Blend and rub well into the chops. Set aside in the refrigerator for 4 hours.
Heat a large ovenproof sauté pan over a medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil and swirl to coat the pan. When the oil is hot, add the chops and cook on for about 1 minute per side until browned. Remove the chops and set aside.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and swirl to coat the pan. When the oil is hot, add the onion, fresh ginger and sweet potatoes, season with salt and pepper and sauté, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the dried cranberries, apples and rum and flambé. To flambé the rum using a gas flame, avert your face and tilt the pan into the gas. Over an electric burner, allow the rum to heat, then ignite it with a long kitchen match or an automatic lighter.
Top with the chops and transfer the pan to the oven. Roast for 10–12 minutes until the pork is cooked but still pink in the centre, or to 57C on a meat thermometer. Bring to the table in the pan and serve.
Taken from ‘Simple Asian Kitchen’ by Ming Tsai and Arthur Boehm (Kyle Books, £18.99)
Photograph by Bill Bettencourt