When you think of meat in Florence you typically think of beef thanks to the hugely popular dish Bistecca alla Fiorentina. But on my recent visit to Florence I came across plenty of other cuts of meats at the local food markets and this was then shown on the restaurant menus.
One dish that I came across a lot was pork. What I love about Italian food is that it is kept simple but with very good quality ingredients. This recipe is influenced by that style of cooking where I use a good bit of pork, plenty of fresh herbs, quality olive oil and floury potatoes. It is a perfect weekend treat when you have a bit more time on your hands but it is also an easy dish to prepare if you are busy.
- 2 pork chops
- 7 or 8 small potatoes (peeled and diced)
- 1 red onion (peeled and finely chopped)
- handful of fresh basil (chopped)
- 1 lemon
- olive oil
- salt/ black pepper
- chopped pancetta
- 4 cloves garlic (crushed)
- 1 tbspn dried oregano
- Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5/ 190 degrees celsius. Add the potatoes to an oven dish with a good glug of olive oil, pinch of salt, black pepper and half the crushed garlic. Place in the oven for around 30 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
- In a large plan heat 1 tbpsn olive oil. In the meantime rub some oregano, garlic and black pepper into the pork chops. Place the meat into the pan and cook on each side for around 5 minutes or until the meat is cooked through and still tender.
- Halfway through cooking the pork add the chopped basil to the pan with the juice of half a lemon and a bit of lemon zest and then add the pancetta and onions to the pan.
- Once the pork and pancetta are done take the pan off the heat and put the pork chops onto a plate and leave to one side. Take the potatoes out of the oven and drizzle some lemon juice into the oven dish. Give the potatoes a quick mix and then add the pancetta and onions from the pan and mix in with the potatoes.
- Place the pork chops on top of the potatoes and scrape any left over juice from the pan into the dish. Garnish with more fresh basil and black pepper and take the dish to the table ready to serve.