Rick Stein's Deep-fried Pork Chop with Parsley

Rick Stein's French-style deep fried pork chops, as seen on his BBC2 series, Rick Stein's Secret France, are given a fresh edge with the addition of parsley.

Rick Stein’s Secret France
A culinary journey across France with Rick Stein
All of your favourite recipes from the BBC series
Secret French recipes alongside authentic classics

Introduction

Le Saint Eutrope restaurant is near the black Gothic cathedral in Clermont-Ferrand, for me, one of France’s best-kept secrets. The city is largely built out of volcanic rock, hence the cathedral, and it’s famed for being the HQ of the Michelin tyre company yet is bustling with clubs, bars, interesting restaurants and students. The restaurant is run by Harry Lester and his wife Alexandra and I suspect they chose the city because it seems like anything is possible there. I really liked the place, partly because it reminded me of my own restaurant when I started out – a menu that changes every day, furniture and décor a bit mismatched, kitchen a bit too small – and Harry, though overworked, is definitely nailing it. The crew and I ate this dish on a Sunday lunchtime, sitting outside in a narrow street called Rue Saint Eutrope. I love deep-fried breadcrumbed pork chops, it’s something we don’t really do in the UK. Harry served the chops with fried parsley, and braised peas seemed a perfect accompaniment. His wine list is extraordinary; he has lots of chums making whacky vintages in weird parts of France.

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 x 175-200g bone-in pork chops
50g plain flour
1 large egg, beaten
100-120g panko breadcrumbs
500-750ml vegetable oil
small handful flatleaf parsley leaves, very well dried
lemon wedges (optional)
salt and black pepper

Instructions

Season the pork chops well with salt and pepper. Put the flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs in separate wide bowls. Dip each seasoned chop in flour, then egg and finally breadcrumbs, making sure each has a fairly thick coating of crumbs.

Pour the oil into a large pan – the exact amount will depend on the size of your pan but it should be about 5cm deep. Heat the oil to 160–170°C. Don’t try to cook all the chops at once or they won’t brown. Deep-fry them, 2 at a time, for about 3–4 minutes on each side, depending on thickness, until deep golden brown. The internal temperature should be 71°C. Drain the fried chops on a triple layer of kitchen paper, then keep them warm in a low oven while you cook the rest.

Once the chops are cooked, quickly deep-fry the parsley leaves. Serve the chops, garnished with the parsley, right away while they are hot and crisp, with lemon wedges if you like and some braised peas (page 234) on the side.

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