The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Delicious pork steaks recipe: baked with wild plum jelly and blackcurrants

Photo: Blackcurrants

Photo: Blackcurrants

However careful I am about constructing my fruit cages a hungry bird or twenty always seems to crack the code and get in. One year one of our fruit cages was constructed with high security in mind – nothing apart from me could get in or out and it was such a struggle to access that I cursed the plan all Summer.  It seemed to work initially and then deteriorated fast.

A  family of wrens had built a teeny nest in the climbing roses at the back of the cage. I didn’t notice them during the construction process and only realised that they were the mystery thieves during the Autumn clear up!

Despite the early promise of a good crop of red currants this year, the bushes were picked bare and just a few handfuls of white and black currants are left. We decided to eke out the fruit by freezing it in handfuls and trying the fruit in different dishes rather than making jelly or jam.  This is, after all, organic fruit that has managed to survive and ripen against the odds. Our new pork dish was the first of our experiments to get the best results from our precious fruit.

This dish was unbelievably good. The sharpness of the blackcurrants cut through the sweetness of the jelly. So, in the end, the fruit thieves of 2010 did us a great favour and now we will always freeze some fruit to use in different dishes in the future rather than turning the whole lot into jelly or jam.

N.B.
Versions of this dish could be made with duck, goose, lamb or pork and any type of fruit jelly – homemade is best. Also we reckon that it would be great with all tart fruit – rhubarb, gooseberries, apricots and even raspberries.

Delicious pork steaks baked with wild plum jelly and blackcurrants

Ingredients:
2 pork chops approx 400g – 500 g (we splashed out on free range because the flavour is so much better but normal supermarket chops would be fine)
3 tbsp wild plum jelly
1 tbsp olive oil
50g ripe blackcurrants
Quarter tsp dried tarragon

Method:
Mix the plum jelly, olive oil and tarragon together to make a paste.
Spread this in a baking dish, approximately to the same area as the two chops will occupy side by side. Don’t spread it over the entire baking dish as the uncovered area will burn.
Sprinkle the blackcurrants over the paste and lay the chops on top.
Cook uncovered for 20 minutes at 200 c (180 fan / halogen oven) or until the fat of the chops has turned golden and the chops have a tasty browned appearance.
Turn the chops. Cover with foil and cook for another 30 minutes.
Serve with the blackcurrants and juices as a sauce.


  Leave a reply

6 Comments

  1. Kooky Girl

    Sounds really delicious and excellent timing as I just went and picked my first lot of wild blackberries yesterday. I’ve no time for jam just now, so they all got frozen which means I’ll definitely be trying this ! Thank you for a lovely recipe.

  2. fran in oz

    Fiona, are you sure the wrens are the culprits? As insectivores, would they eat much, or any, fruit? I do hope not, as I’m planning a fruit cage which wll allow the tiny insectivores, of which I have many on my property,access to my fruit bushes in the hope that they will demolish any insect pests. According to the internet, all wrens world wide are insectivores. Maybe you have mice?

  3. I invariably freeze my fruit anyway so that I can use it in different dishes or jam as the case maybe. I also usually only make small batches of jam when we need it. Having said that I am trying to find ways of preserving fruit besides freezing so that we have an abundance over the winter. our freezer will only take so much.

  4. I have a huge glut of blackberries. We had a slight accident at work ( I’m a transport manager for a haulage company that mainly do small loads of fruit out of the kent farms) in the fact that a whole pallet (45 cases of 12 punnets) of blackberries fell over in the back of one of the lorries as the strap broke. We the haulier are responsible for paying for the lost pallet and so the blackberries which apart from the top couple of layers of boxes were still intact although slightly tumbled in their punnets, we are to do what we liked with. We shared out the fruit as best we could amongst the staff ( I hate it to just get put in a skip and the farms won’t empty it on fields for birds as it attract vermin etc) so we all ended up with loads of blackberries. I have already made bramble jelly ( lots of) and froze the best un tumbled blackberries in my mums freezer for crumbles and pies etc but I still have about 6 carrier bags full of frozen blackberries. Any suggestions apart from jam or jelly for those would be appreciated.

    • Fiona Nevile

      Mandi – How about blackberry wine? It takes ages to mature but after five years tastes wonderful!

  5. Magic Cochin

    Mandi – This year we made Creme de Cassis from our blackcurrants. You could make Creme de Mures in the same way – lots of recipes around. I used the Jane Grigson recipe from her ‘Fruit Book’

    Drink it with sparkling water, tonic, sparkling wine or champagne (Kir). Or drizzle over ice-cream or fruit desserts.

    Celia

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

480,273 Spambots Blocked by Simple Comments

HTML tags are not allowed.


Copyright © 2006-2012 Cottage Smallholder      Our Privacy Policy      Advertise on Cottage Smallholder


FD