Monday, July 20, 2009

Wild Rosella Glazed Pork Chops with Baked Scalloped Emmenthal Potatoes

Wild Rosella is a tasty bush flower, indigenous to Australia and found in tropical Queensland. Similar in appearance to the hibiscus flower it has a rather tart flavour with characteristic notes of raspberry and plum. A truly rich antioxidant source it has incredibly high levels of the two most active anthocyanins and is believed to be a natural remedy for high blood pressure.

Outback Spirit, an Australian company manufactures Wild Rosella preserve which is perfectly suited for the glaze. Along with molasses and a splash of red wine vinegar it makes a robust marinade that mellows into a rich, beautiful sticky-sweet glaze when cooked, balanced by caramelised scallions that pack a contrasting piquancy, perfectly complimenting the pork chops. I relished the meal appropriately with a glass Santa Julia Malbec - a full bodied, yet soft wine with a cherry and plum aroma, from Mendoza, Argentina.

Other native Australian fruits include Pepper Berry – hailed as the world’s strongest antioxidant and polygodial rich, traditionally used as a bush medicine by indigenous Aboriginals. Illawarra Plum rivals the pepper berry for the title of strongest antioxidant being high in anthocyanins and Vitamin C. And the Kakadu Plumis is another favourite “health food” of the Aboriginal people, with the world record for the highest Vitamin C content and being a phytonutrient feast full of antioxidants such as folic acid, iron. If you live outside Australia, finding Wild Rosella will be extremely challenging, substitute with a raspberry or blackberry jam to recreate a similar flavour – it is sure to deliver a sweet-jammy flavour.

Serves 2
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes


For the potatoes:
3 medium-large potatoes, peeled and sliced; ½ cup milk; Olive Oil; 2 tsp dried Italian herbs; 100g Emmenthal, thinly sliced; Salt and pepper to season

For the pork:
100g Wild Rosella confit; 1 tsp molasses; 1 tsp red wine vinegar; 2 pork chops
2 scallions, finely sliced; Salt and Pepper to season; Olive Oil for frying

Method: Preheat oven at 200 degrees C. Fill two ramekins with 2-3 slices of potatoes, season with salt and pepper, herbs, place a slice of emmenthal and then repeat until full. Every 2-3 layers add a tiny dribble of milk. To finish drizzle with olive oil, cover the top of the ramekins with aluminium foil and pop into the oven for half an hour. The last ten minutes, remove the foil and allow the top to form a golden-brown crust.

In a bowl combine the wild rosella confit, molasses and red wine/ vinegar, set aside. Pat pork dry and sprinkle with ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. Heat oil in a heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot, but not smoking, then fry pork along with shallots, until pork is browned and shallots are golden brown and tender, about 5 minutes total on both sides, stirring shallots occasionally. Add the wild rosella mixture to the pork, reduce the heat to moderate and coat the meat evenly, cooking it until the liquid turns into thick syrup, about 2-4 minutes, turning over once, until pork is just cooked through. Transfer pork to a platter allowing it to rest for 5 minutes.

To serve, pour sauce over pork and scoop out the scalloped potato out of the ramekin onto the same plate.

More pork recipes?

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