Thursday, 8 August 2013

Pan-fried Pork and Pestiferous Postponing Plumbers

This was another lunch prepared in the little kitchenette of the London apartment I was residing in with my brother this summer. It was the day the apartment management had promised the plumbers would come, plus we had no plans, so it was another ideal opportunity to put the seemingly newly furbished kitchen to be put to proper use. Mind you there were already clear signs of use, or should I say abuse. In addition to those previously listed, the surface of the cabinets above the stove, toaster and electric kettle had shrunk and warped, despite the fact that they were all shiny white and new looking. Also, the walls were reasonably clean except for the confusing faint mystery splatter that stretched from the floor to the ceiling (yes, actually on the ceiling) in a pattern that gave a layman like me no clue as to the directional forces or point of origin that created it. But regardless, these superficial problems did not stop the pursuit of proper pukka nosh. It doesn't matter if your kitchen is big or small, old or new, equipped with hot water or not, if you put the effort in, you can make a decent meal (insert motivational fist pump).

The plump pink pork loins looked great in the store and were pretty good value to purchase. They were simply pan fried, again, in the world's largest frying pan using the amazing rotate-the-gargantuan-pan-over-the-tiny-hob-in-the-corner-to-try-and-heat-the-whole-surface technique. The meat was seasoned with salt, black pepper, garlic powder and fresh sage leaves. After browning both cut sides and when the steaks were almost done, I made sure to hold them upright with the fat edge in contact with the bottom of pan to ensure it cooked the luscious white stuff all the way through. The apple confit was made by peeling, coring and dicing apples (with a paring knife as there was no peeler. And yes, the potatoes for the mash in the last post were also peeled by paring knife) then heating them in a saucepan with butter, oil, a splash of water, salt and sugar until they were tender and caramelised. The pork and apples were served with a simple side of boiled green beans and baby carrots, the latter of which I did not bother peeling or trimming as they were so dinky I didn't want them to disappear completely. I was never a fan of fruit and meat in my younger years, but I have grown to really appreciate how the contrast in flavours and textures work together and create delicious magic. The savoury bulk of the rich fatty pork was beautifully balanced out by the sweet gentle softness of the apples and all the flamboyant flavours were refreshed by the clean simplicity of the beans and carrots. Happy home-cooked food to warm the heart (because the boiler had yet to be fixed...).

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