Stu and I were both off today - how lovely to start a Monday by not hearing the alarm ringing! We were having a nice chilled out day (Christmas shopping, coffee drinking . . . ) until we took our car for its annual MOT inspection. In order to drive your car here you have to have a yearly check by government authorised mechanics. Not a bad idea in terms of road safety as there are a lot less beaters with dodgy brakes on the roads. Even though we'd taken it to our reliable mechanic Hubert for a tune-up our little 1997 Mazda failed on a couple of minor points. This was mildly annoying as it means getting the faults fixed and taking the car back for another appointment, but we became slightly more concerned when the car suddenly started making strange noises and stalling on the way home. Not good.
Fear not though, all was not lost in terms of the relaxing day off and I decided to take advantage of being home early to make a nice meal compliments of The Naked Chef. It was scrummy and very easy . . .
Tray-baked Pork Chops with Herby Potatoes, Parsnips and Pears
2 good handfuls of fresh rosemary, pounded
6 cloves of garlic, crushed
10 lugs of olive oil
3 lemons, halved, juice and skin squashed
freshly ground black pepper
Mix everything together.
8 pork chops
3 smooth-skinned pears
1 1/2 lbs potatoes, scrubbed
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Rub and massage the pork chops with the rosemary marinade, and, ideally, leave for 1-6 hours for maximum flavour. Preheat the oven to 425F. Wash the parsnips and pears and slice into quarters lengthwise, removing the cores from the pears, then cut the potatoes into .5cm thick pieces. Dry them with kitchen paper, then put them into an appropriately sized roasting tray with the parsnips, pears, pork chops and the marinade. Toss over to lightly coat everything then season and roast in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the chops.