2 pork chops
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 springs of fresh sage
optional: one lemon
applesauce, mango chutney, apricot jam, maple syrup, or honey, to glaze (we used honey b/c we had it in the pantry)
To prepare your pork:
Using a very sharp knife, or kitchen scissors, carefully trim the skin off the edges of each chop – you’re going to turn this into crackling. Cut each strip of skin lengthways into 2 strips, so you end up with 4 strips in total. Use a sharp knife to make cuts every 1/4 inch along the fat remaining on the chops–this will help it render and crisp up while cooking. Rub both sides of the chops with olive oil and season really well with salt and pepper. While you’re at it, season your strips of skin. Pick the sage leaves off their stalks, toss them lightly in a little olive oil, and put to one side.
To cook your pork:
Put a frying pan over a high heat and add your strips of skin. Move them about in the hot pan and remove them when golden, crisp, and crackling. Lay both chops flat in the pan and give them 4-5 minutes on each side, turning every minute. When they’re looking golden, add a few sage leaves to the pan. Let them crisp up and cook for about 30 seconds, then remove them to a plate. Spoon a large tablespoon of applesauce (or your chosen glazing ingredient) over each chop. Keep turning the chops over so they get nicely coated. Have the confidence to cook them until almost a dark reddy-golden color and wonderfully thick and sticky. Remove the chops to a plate and let them rest for a minute or two, squeezing over a little lemon juice if you want to balance out the sweetness a bit.