perfect pork on a bed of caramelised asparagus, onion and lentils

Oh how fancy! Just a quick recipe-only post tonight because frankly, my feet hurt, my bum hurts and my finger hurts from typing so much. However, I couldn’t resist posting this stunning little recipe because I think it looks so pretty in the picture. It’s good timing to post a ‘posh’ meal because I (somewhat gently) got called a snob yesterday for badmouthing Benidorm and it made me think – I’m the least snobbish person I know, but then I only move in certain circles. When you’re as fat as me, those circles are called orbits, by the way. I don’t care how much someone earns or owns and I find the more they brag about those things, the less interesting they are as a person.

Anyway, the reason for me mentioning this is because I’m reminded of a story I heard somewhere and it tickles me every single time I think about it. He recounts a quiet Sunday at home with his family having Sunday lunch when they all become aware of quite the commotion happening across the street. A fire engine comes tearing into the street and firemen pile out and dash into a house. His dad, being nosy, wanders outside to have a look, where he’s met by the next door neighbour who was the type who would make the Queen look like a dole-scrounger.

“I wonder what’s going on”, says the neighbour, to which his dad replied “I don’t know – perhaps it’s a chip pan fire”.

The lady turned to him and looked straight down her nose:

“Chips?”, she spat, aghast.

“On a Sunday?”

Aaaah I love that so much. I grew up in a village with more than its fair share of people like that – people who thought because they had a barely-affordable mortgage and a car the size of a cargo train they were better than anyone else. Pfft!

Anyway this isn’t going to be a quick-post if I don’t get to the recipe so without a moment more of hesitation, let’s rattle off the perfect pork with caramelised onion…this recipe makes enough for two large portions. Which you love, because you’re a filthy bugger.

to make perfect pork on a bed of caramelised asparagus, onion and lentils, you’ll need:

  • two excellent pork loin chops, no fat – we bought ours from Tesco for £3.50 – we’re not fancy
  • 250g of asparagus
  • two large white onions
  • 250g of cooked puy lentils (we buy Merchant Gourmet ones from the shop – 2 syns for 250g)
  • 1 tablespoon of caster sugar (3 syns)

We used an Optigrill for our chops – only because it’s such a doddle to chuck the chop in and let it cook itself, but you absolutely don’t need to buy one for this recipe – a pan will do. You’ll even get those pretty sear marks if you move it to and fro a bit. If you do want an Optigrill, you can buy them on Amazon and read our review here.

to make perfect pork on a bed of caramelised asparagus, onion and lentils, you should:

  • read this whole recipe before you start, as you’ll have a couple of pans on the go at once
  • peel and finely slice the onion – put in a good non-stick pan with a splosh of oil or a few sprays of olive oil, sprinkle over the caster sugar and a pinch of salt, pop the lid on and shake that pan for all your worth – this gets a bit of oil on all of the onion
  • cook on a low to medium heat with the lid on until the onions are slightly golden and soft – it does take a while, but don’t rush it
  • meanwhile, peel your asparagus to remove the stringy skin and then snap it in two – if you bend it gently, it’ll snap at just the right place
  • just as your onions take on a bit of colour, time to cook your pork:
    • we cooked ours in the Optigrill: turned it on, chose the pork chop setting, waited until it was ready to cook, chucked the pork in with a brushing of worcestershire sauce, cooked it until the machine told us to stop, done!
    • haven’t got an Optigrill – don’t worry a jot, you can use a normal griddle pan, frying pan or cook it on a sunburned shoulder for all I care – whatever you do, apply heat until the meat is cooked – I mean, it’s that easy
  • about ten minutes before the pork is done, chuck the asparagus in with the onion – if things are a bit sticky, loosen it up with a wee bit of water
  • just before you’re about to serve, heat your lentils through and plate up

Done! Want more inspiration? Sure thing, cheesenips. You know what to do.

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J

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