A clean and satisfying combination of flavours that come together to make a great supper.
Anchovy is often the answer. When used in a dish – as opposed to being the dish – that deep umami flavour permeates into all corners. A fantastic thing to cook with – one of the all-time greats – always be sure that you have some good quality anchovies in the cupboard or the fridge. One reason I earnestly encourage this is that anchovies are such a versatile ingredient. They match with other fish, lamb, chicken, beef and, perhaps most naturally, pork (although lamb might have something to say about this). Here the anchovy forms a dressing for the chard, and a bloody good job it does too!
Pork loin steak, chard & anchovy
1 tbsp of capers
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves removed from the stalks
500g rainbow chard, washed
½ an unwaxed lemon
- For the anchovy dressing:
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
200ml of organic whole milk
12 salted anchovies in olive oil
Aspall Organic White Wine Vinegar
extra virgin olive oil
- For the anchovy dressing – this will make more than is required for this dish, but it can be kept in the fridge for up to 5-days!
- Add the peeled garlic and milk to a small pan and set over a low heat. Cook for 10-12 minutes, until the garlic is soft.
- Tip the milk and garlic into a blender or food processor, along with the anchovies and a tablespoon of vinegar. Blitz at full power until smooth.
- Turn the blender down to medium and start to emulsify in the oil. First about 75ml of olive oil, poured in a gentle but steady stream. Then about the same of vegetable oil. If the dressing appears too thick, then simply let it down with a little hot water – it should be viscous but pourable.
- Check for seasoning and then adjust as necessary. It is a dressing, so it should be well seasoned
- For the pork and chard:
- Remove the pork steaks from the fridge and season well with sea salt.
- Set a cast-iron skillet or frying pan over a medium heat, with a small drizzle of oil.
- Stand the steaks in the pan with the fat facing down and turn the heat down to low. Cook like this, moving occasionally to make sure all the fat has a chance to render, for 4-5 minutes.
- Turn the heat up and lay the steaks on their sides, cooking for 90 seconds before flipping and cooking on the other side for 90 seconds.
- Then turn the heat down to low and add 2 tablespoons of butter, the rosemary, the capers and the half lemon, face down. Baste the steaks in the foaming butter, allowing it to slowly brown as you go. Flip the steaks every 30 seconds or so and cook for 3 minutes.
- Remove the steaks from the pan and set aside on a tray or plate to rest. Use a pair of tongs to squeeze out the juice of the lemon into the butter in the pan. Stir it together and then pour all over the steaks. Rest for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the chard. Set a pan of salted water over a high heat and bring to a boil.
- Strip the leaves from the thicker chard stalk. Leave the leaves on the thinner, more tender chard stalks. Chop the thicker stalks into 2-inch batons and blanche in the boiling water for 3 minutes. Then add the leaves and the smaller stalks and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Drain everything in a colander, making sure to lose as much water as possible. Return the chard to the empty pan and dress with the anchovy dressing – you don’t need to use all the dressing, just as much as you think necessary. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
- Carve the pork loin steaks and plate next to the dressed chard. Return the rosemary, caper and lemon dressing to a pan and set over a medium heat. Once hot, use it to dress the pork loin steaks.