4 x 2–3cm thick pork loin chops, rind removed
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 2 Seville oranges, or 1 large navel orange
¼ cup vincotto
1 cup veal stock
60g unsalted butter
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns, coarsely crushed
2 tbsp grated orange zest
1 tbsp rosemary leaves, coarsely chopped
2 tsp unsalted butter
6 large waxy potatoes (Nicola, Dutch cream, Desiree), peeled
2 small garlic gloves, very thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/3 cups milk (or a mix of milk and cream)
Photography by: Home Armelle Habib
Styling by: Food Prep Emma Rosen
Recipe by: stephanie Alexander
1. For the potato gratin: Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan-forced). Butter a gratin dish and have a large bowl ready. Slice the potatoes very thinly using a mandoline or very sharp knife and place in bowl. Add garlic, some salt and pepper, and mix around.
2. Layer the slices into the buttered dish ensuring they don’t stick together in clumps. Pour over the milk, moving the slices a bit so the milk oozes between the layers. Arrange the top layer carefully so it browns evenly. Cover with foil and place gratin dish on a tray to catch drips, then cook in oven for 1 hour.
3. Check the potato is tender. Remove the foil and return dish to the oven for another 30–40 minutes to brown the top and for the liquid to be more or less absorbed by the potato. Serve immediately, or allow to cool to desired temperature.
4. For the fennel paste: While the potato gratin is in the over, in the small bowl of a food processor process the fennel paste ingredients. Press the paste onto each side of the pork chops and leave the meat to rest, refrigerated, for 30 minutes.
5. For the pork chops: Pre-heat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced). Select a heavy-based sauté pan or flameproof casserole large enough to take the chops in a single layer. Season the chops with salt.
6. Heat olive oil over high heat in your selected pan and sear the chops for 5 minutes each side. Keeping the heat high, drizzle in the orange juice, vincotto and stock. Turn the chops in the juices, cover with a lid or foil, and transfer the pan to the oven for 15 minutes.
7. Test the chops for tenderness with a skewer (it should slip through the meat without resistance). Transfer the chops to a plate and return the pan to the stovetop over high heat to boil the juices and reduce them a little. Drop in butter and allow to melt. Return chops to the sauce and turn to coat both sides. Check seasoning, and serve.
Stephanie’s Note: Search out chops at least 2–3cm thick. Seville oranges are not especially popular so may be hard to find, but the rind delivers incomparable flavour and is preferred for this dish.