This is a dish I really love to serve in the Winter months when we don’t mind the oven being on, and we have heartier appetites.
The chops/potatoes/onions are braised in a mixture of apple juice and maple syrup, which also adds some lovely layers of flavours. This meal in a dish supper is adaptable to many flavours. You could use sage or summer savoury instead of thyme, or crushed seeds like fennel, coriander or juniper. Honey instead of Maple Syrup would work well also.
- 2 TBS sunflower oil
- 250g sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced (1/2 pound)
- fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 medium brown onions, peeled and sliced
- the leaves from 3 – 4 sprigs of thyme
- 2 pork loin chops, fatty edge slashed
- (this helps to prevent the chops from curling)
- 1 TBS pure Maple Syrup
- 75ml apple juice (1/3 cup)
- Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Butter a shallow oven baking dish. Set aside.
- Prepare your vegetables. Spread the sweet potatoes in the baking dish, sprinkling them with salt and pepper and a bit of thyme.
- Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the onions and fry them until golden brown. Remove from the skillet and spread over the potatoes. Sprinkle wit a bit more thyme. Season the pork chops and brown them quickly on both sides in the skillet. Place them on top of the vegetables in the casserole dish and sprinkle with any remaining thyme. Whisk together the maple syrup and apple juice. Pour over all and then cover the dish tightly with foil.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Uncover. Reduce the oven temperature to 150*C/300*F/gas mark 2. Return the dish to the oven and cook for a further 10 minutes to let the chops and potatoes brown slightly. Spoon onto heated plates to serve. I like to serve a green vegetable with this.