In the last few years I’ve found myself trending towards a simpler way of eating. This is definitely the case when I’m choosing a restaurant. I just can’t seem to get that excited anymore about fancy, long meals. I will gladly go if invited, since I’m always curious. But when it’s just me that gets to decide? It’s simple and traditional that always wins out.
I’ve also noticed that even when I’m at home, my style of cooking is getting simpler and simpler. Lately I’ve been rediscovering old recipes that I used to make all the time, but that for some reason just fell off my radar. Of course, many of these come from the pages of Marcella Hazan.
One of my all time favorite recipes of hers is one I used to make at least a once a month back in the early days of my marriage. Pork Chops with Sage. If it sounds simple, it’s because it is. And that is the beauty of this almost non-recipe. The trick of course, as with any super simple recipe, is to get your hands on good ingredients. In this case: big, fat, fatty pork chops. I know I just used the word fat twice. But you want them both thick and as fatty as possible.
You know how I ranted about chicken last week? Well, please permit me to have a little bit of a pork rant. Pork is NOT the other white meat. In the last couple of decades , with misguided fear of fat, the pork industry in the USA has tried (and succeeded) to rebrand itself as a lean alternative to chicken. And so began breeding pigs that are much leaner. But you want to know what a lean pig tastes like? Not much. Fat not only brings in natural flavor, it is also what makes pork tender. No fat means tough hard meat with little taste.
Since this recipe is so simple try your best to go to your butcher or farmer’s market and get your hands on some thickly cut, old fashioned, pork chops that have a nice rim of fat along the edge.
As for the rest? Fresh sage is essential. And yes, as per Marcella I use both olive oil AND butter. You should too. Here’s a video that explains it all.
- 2 thickly cut pork chops
- salt, pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup canned tomatoes
- 8 fresh sage leaves
- see video