I know that we eat a lot of chicken – as reflected in the recipes on this blog – but pork is probably my favourite meat. I love the flavour and the more robust texure than you get from other meats. Yes, it can be easy to overcook the leaner cuts, but if you get them right they can be truly delicious. I like the fact that you can get a lot out of a pig without leaving much waste behind. Oh and let’s not overlook bacon. Or crackling.
Anyway, before this becomes a love letter to pork I’ll get back on topic…. Despite all of its qualities it doesn’t seem to appear on restaurant menus as often as I think it should. It’s not totally absent by any means, but it does seem to have been somewhat sidelined in recent years. Apart from Bangers and Mash, of course. To me, that’s a bit of a shame.
Fortunately, it seems that not everyone has abandoned it as a fine dining option. On our last cruise holiday I was pleased to see that pork-based dishes popped up quite a lot. Naturally, I took advantage of this and ordered most, if not all, of the ones that took my fancy.
It was the rather evocatively named “Momma’s Home-Style Pork Chops with Sweet Potatoes” that stayed with me. I’ve since found out that to many people these aren’t all that special. They’re pork chops that are coated with seasoned flour then pan-fried until crisp and golden. It sounds simple, but when cooked well – with good quality meat – they are delicious.
Personally I don’t think you need to use a bone-in pork chop, so have opted to make mine with a thick pork loin steak. I’ve kept the seasoning pretty straightforward – paprika, thyme, salt and pepper – which complements pork and avoids the crust from dominating the taste of the whole dish. A quick sauce is made by reducing some dry cider in the pan whilst the pork is resting.
From memory this is a good replica of the pork I had whilst on holiday. It’s flavoursome and finds the perfect balance between crusty outside and tender middle. My only real change has been to serve this with my Savoury Sweet Potato Mash instead of its original side… As much as I enjoyed the Marshmallow-topped Sweet Potatoes on the cruise ship they’re not something I’m in a rush to make at home.
Home-Style Pork Loin Steaks
For the Coating
- 2 tbsp Plain Flour
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 1 tsp Dried Thyme
- 1 tsp Sea Salt Flakes
- ½ tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
For the Pork Loin Steaks
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 Pork Loin Steaks
For the Sauce
- 100 ml Dry Cider
- ½ tsp Dried Thyme
- 1 tbsp Butter
- Mix together the flour, paprika, dried thyme, salt and pepper.
- Pat the pork loin steaks dry with some kitchen paper, then brush lightly all over with some of the olive oil. Dredge the pork loin steaks in the seasoned flour until well coated. Shake off any excess flour.
- Heat the remaining olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Lower the pork loin steaks into the pan and cook for 5 minutes on each side, until golden and cooked through. When cooked, remove from the pan and keep warm.
- Turn up the heat to high and then pour in the cide. Deglaze the pan, using a spatula to loosen any bits stuck to the bottom and get their flavour into the sauce. Add in the additional dried thyme, followed by the butter and stir until you have a thickened sauce.
- Serve the pork loin steaks with the sauce poured over them.