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Pork and pears

When reducing the pear juice, do not boil for longer than 5 minutes or it will become too thick and syrupy at this stage and not coat the chops and pears. It will reduce further during baking in the oven.

ingredients

serves 4
4 pork chops, trimmed of fat and rind
25 g (1 oz) margarine or butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper
425 g (15 oz) can pear halves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram, or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried marjoram
1 tablespoon lemon juice

method

1. Heat the oven to 190°C (375°F) Gas 5.

2. Melt the margarine in a large frying-pan. Add the chops and fry for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown.

3. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a single layer in an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Drain the pears,
reserving the juice, and fry in the hot fat for about 10 minutes until brown. Place on top of the chops in the dish.

4. Pour the reserved pear juice into the pan and stir with a wooden spoon to dislodge any sediment at the bottom. Add the marjoram and lemon juice, and raise the heat.

5. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes until reduced by about half. Pour over the chops and pears, then cover the dish. 5 Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until the chops are tender. Transfer to a warmed serving dish and serve at once.

Good accompaniments are cauliflower or leeks, lightly boiled then drained and tossed with butter and 25 g (1 oz) chopped flaked almonds.

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