Juicy, caramelised and crusted with burnished spices – this is an easy Indian-spiced pork loin with foraged greens, crispy fried onions and turmeric chat potatoes.
Ok, when I say easy I refer to the pork component, as everything else requires a little preparation. To be honest, the other bits I’ve mentioned don’t even need to be brought into the picture; although all of them make for one very flavoursome meal.
If you’ve ever wanted to cook a piece of pork steak to juicy perfection, there are a couple of easy steps that’ll get you there without fail.
First, you need to start with a steak that’s 2 cm thick – no more than an inch. And then you need to remember these numbers.
6 – 2 – 2
It’s the 6-2-2 method that’ll achieve the juicy result that a quality piece of pork deserves. 6 minutes over medium heat on one side, 2 minutes on the other, then let the little darling rest out of the pan for another 2 minutes.
A simple piece of pan-fried swine is perfection, in my eyes. A little salt and pepper, perhaps a smear of mustard or horseradish and I’m a happy man. For this recipe, I’ve done a bit of flavour injection by marinading the meat in a bunch of spices and yoghurt.
Aside from that, I’ve given it crunch with a simple pile of crispy fried onions.
And then come the greens I foraged. Warrigal greens, wild mustard and samphire. These have all been wilted through some sautéed onion and a few spices, turning them into a warm and mildly spiced vegetable accompaniment. To top it off, some crumbled paneer cheese; just to echo the Indian flavours of the pork.
The golden potatoes follow suit in their own way.
As a final flourish, I’ve drizzled the cooked pork with some sweet, spicy and tangy tamarind chutney. It’s a cinch to make and keeps in the fridge for a few weeks. Also, I drizzled the pork with zhoug. Something that’s Middle Eastern, not Indian; but it works an absolute treat.
All together it’s an absolute harmony of flavours.
Finally, if you’ve got some fresh curry leaves to spare, fry them in oil for 2 or 3 minutes until crisp. They’re the most perfect garnish and so easy to nibble on.
- 1 (heaped) tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp chilli
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- ¼ (heaped) tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 dried bay leaves, finely crushed
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tsp apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice
- 2 tbsp mustard oil, or olive oil
- 1½ tbsp honey
- 100 g greek yoghurt
- 6 x 200 g pork loin steaks* (2 cm or 1 inch thick)
- 2 tbsp olive oil, for cooking
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp brown mustard seeds
- 10 fresh curry leaves
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 100 g samphire, trimmed if necessary
- 400 g warrigal greens leaves, washed & rinsed well (or used baby spinach leaves)
- 100 g wild mustard leaves, washed & rinsed well
- 4 tbsp water
- 100 g paneer, crumbled (or use firm feta cheese)
- salt & freshly milled black pepper, to taste
- 3-4 large brown onions
- 1-litre vegetable oil, for frying
- sea salt flakes
- cumin seeds, to garnish
- 18 chats (baby potatoes) – 3 per person
- 3 tbsp mustard oil, or olive oil
- salt & pepper, to taste
- turmeric powder
- Combine all ingredients (except pork and 2 tbsp olive oil) and stir well. Lay the pork loin steaks into a flat, non-corrosive dish and smear on all sides with the marinade. Alternatively, put the pork into a plastic bag, add the marinade and give it a good massage.
- Allow the pork to marinade overnight.
- Scrape off any excess marinade before cooking the following day. Too much will make it burn.
- To cook the pork, heat a pan over medium heat. Add the 2 tbsp olive oil, swirl it around and lay the pork steaks even over the pan. You may need to do this in two pans, or in batches.
- Cook the pork for 6 minutes, without turning. Turn the pork over and cook the other side for 2 minutes. Remove the pork from the pan and allow it to rest on a plate or board for a further 2 minutes,
after-whichit will be perfectly juicy. Serve immediately.
- Heat a large saucepan over med-high, toss in the butter and oil and allow it to melt. Scatter in the mustard seeds and curry leaves (they will pop and crackle!) and stir with a wooden spoon for about 1 minute.
- Add the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until opaque. Add the samphire to the onions and quickly stir to incorporate, then add the warrigal greens and mustard leaves.
- Stir constantly so the leaves wilt from the heat. After about 10-20 seconds, add the water and keep mixing it around, then crumble in the paneer. Turn off the heat and season to taste.
- You can serve it immediately or at room
temperature,if you like.
- Peel the onions, cut them in half and slice them thinly. Break up each slice so that they fry easier.
- Put the oil into a large saucepan over medium heat. Simply fry the sliced onion in the oil, in batches, until nicely browned and slightly golden. Don’t add too many as the oil may bubble over. Scoop the onions out and drain on paper towels. Season with the salt and cumin seeds while still hot. Allow to cool completely before using.
- Boil the chats until just cooked. Drain and press them down slightly, to flatten.
- Preheat the oven to 230°C.
- Line a baking tray with baking paper, top with the oil and put it into the oven for 10 minutes.
- Arrange the potatoes on the hot pan, turn over to coat the other side in oil, then season with salt, pepper and turmeric. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and crispy around the edges.
- Serve immediately, scattered with a little more turmeric, of you like.