With this recipe I was able to use up the last of the rubs that have been sitting in the spice drawer. I found 3 slices of bacon in the freezer, that I didn't know were in there...bonus! Roasted garlic finished off this yummy chicken, and I paired it with roasted apples, which took care of the 2 apples that were getting soft. All in all, a successful meal.
Start off by roasting a bulb of garlic ( see the post Garlic for the method), allowing it to cool before removing it from the skin and mashing it into a paste. Set this aside until needed.
Heat the oven to 400F.
Peel, core and slice 2 apples into wedges. Toss them with:
Heat a heavy bottomed pan until it is smoking hot.
Add the apples, scraping all the oil, honey and cumin out along with the slices.
Turn the heat to medium high and cook, stirring often.
Cook the apples until they are golden and crispy on
the outside and then place the whole pan into the oven, and roast until the apples are tender.
While the apples are roasting, assemble and cook the pork.
Stretch the bacon out as thinly as you can, without breaking the rashers.
Sprinkle with the rub. I had about 2 tablespoons of rub.
Lightly season the pork; bacon is salty so be careful not to use too much salt.
Spread the cooled garlic paste on one side of each pork chop.
Carefully wrap one piece of bacon around each pork chop, placing the side with the rub on it towards the meat.
Place the bacon wrapped pork into a smoking hot pan, cooking the first side until the bacon is crispy. No oil is needed, as the fat in the bacon is sufficient.
Carefully turn it over, and then place the whole pan into the oven, alongside the apples.
Bake the pork until it is cooked through. Allow it to rest for 5 minutes before serving it with the apples on the side.
- If you have no rub, or want to use something different, mix together brown sugar and ground black pepper.
- Remove the pork from the pan to rest, and a quick sauce can be made by adding chicken stock, apple juice and/ or wine to the pan, and allowing it to reduce by half. Swirl a couple of tablespoons of cold butter into the liquid just before serving.
- Chicken breasts, pork tenderloin, beef tenderloin or steak can be used instead of pork chops. I was using centre cut boneless chops. Jumbo scallops can also be wrapped in the rub and bacon.
- The meat can be cooked on the barbecue.
- Pears can be used if you have no apples. Shallots or pearl onions can be roasted alongside the fruit.
- Apple juice can be added to keep the fruit moist, and turn it into a roasted applesauce.
- Spice it up by adding minced chipotle peppers in adobe sauce to the apples before roasting.
- Crumbled blue, goat cheese, cooked crumbled sausage or applesauce can be used with, or in place of, the roasted garlic paste.
- Chopped fresh herbs such as sage, rosemary or thyme can be added to the roasted garlic paste. Fresh whole sage leaves can be laid directly onto the pork, before adding the roasted garlic and wrapping it all in bacon.
- Try prosciutto, pancetta or ham for the wrapping. You will need to add a bit of olive oil to the pan if you are using ham or prosciutto, as they are not as fatty as bacon and pancetta are.
- The pork can be assembled and kept refrigerated a day ahead.