I’m a massive fan of a big bacon chop. I’m not talking about a wimpy, flaccid cut off the loin, but a regal praetorian guard of a chop heralding ‘Time for Dinner’. There is a deep, resonant bacony flavour to this meat than would stir the Irish in us. Before you know it you’ll be on your feet, at attention, singing ‘Amhrán na bhFiann’.2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 x 220g bacon or pork chop on the bone
½ chicken stock cube
50g Parmesan cheese, grated
1 x 400g tin of cannellini or butter beans
a squeeze of lemon
kale or other greens
Preheat the oven to 185°C.
Heat the oil in an ovenproof frying pan over a medium-high heat until it’s gently smoking. Carefully lower the chop into the pan and colour on one side for 2 minutes. Turn the chop over, then put the pan in the oven for 15 minutes or so, depending on the thickness of the chop. If you don’t have an ovenproof frying pan, just transfer the chop to a baking tray. Remove the pan from the oven, cover with foil and allow the chop to rest for a few minutes.
While the chop is cooking, bring the cream to a gentle simmer in a medium-sized saucepan. It has a tendency to boil over, so keep a watchful eye on it. Crumble in the stock cube and add the grated Parmesan. Whisk them through, then add the beans, lemon juice and seasoning. Warm the beans through gently.
I served this with kale simply cooked in a covered pan with half a cup of water and a hint of butter and seasoning.
Serve the chop with the beans and greens but don’t forget the bacony juices in the pan – pour them over everything.