Pork Chops, Plums & Swiss Chard
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Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 40 mins
"To cook pork chops with confidence it's important to allow the slow rendering of the fat and to keep the meat moist. Fruit is a natural partner to the rich chops, lending acidity and sweetness, and resting them together makes an easy and delectable sauce."
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889 kcal
(per portion)
Ingredients you'll need
  • 75g pearl barley
  • 3 plums
  • 40g honey
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 pork chops
  • 45g butter
  • 140g swiss chard
From your kitchen
  • 400ml water
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp sea salt + extra
  • for seasoning
  • Freshly ground pepper
You'll need
Step by step this way
  • 1.

    Heat your oven to 170°C/Fan 150°C/Gas 3½. Place the pearl barley in a pan over a medium-high heat for 8-10 mins, stirring occasionally, till the barley grains are evenly toasted with a golden colour. Pour over 400ml water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 25-30 mins. All the water should be absorbed into the barley and the grains should become plump and translucent. Cover with a lid and set aside.

  • 2.

    Meanwhile, halve the plums, gently twisting to separate them, then remove and cut free the stones. Cut the halves into quarters and place them on a baking tray. Pour over the honey and scatter over the thyme sprigs along with a pinch of salt. Roast for 5 mins.

  • 3.

    Prepare the Swiss chard by trimming and discarding any ragged ends from the stalks. Use a small knife to remove the stalks from the leaves following their natural shape. Roughly chop the stalks into strips and set aside.

  • 4.

    Remove the plums from the oven – they should be sitting in their own crimson syrup. Set aside.

  • 5.

    Rub the pork chops with 1 tsp olive oil, ¼ tsp salt and some black pepper. Heat a frying pan over a low heat and, once warm, place the chops in the pan, fat-side down, using tongs to hold them in place if necessary. Cook for 8-10 mins till the fat is golden and has melted into the pan. If they're exceptionally fatty, drain off a little of the fat.

  • 6.

    Turn the heat up and turn the chops onto their sides to cook for 3 mins on each side. Lower to a medium heat and cook for a further 3 mins on each side. Remove from the pan once evenly coloured with well rendered fat and place on the baking tray alongside the plums to rest for 8 mins.

  • 7.

    Add 2cm water to the chop pan. Use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan. Once the water is boiling, add the chard stalks and cook for 3 mins or till they're soft enough to pierce with a knife. Add the chard leaves to wilt into the pan, then strain off any excess water and stir through the butter and pearl barley. Season to taste.

  • 8.

    Divide the pearl barley and buttered Swiss chard between the plates. Top with a chop and spoonful of roasted plums, not forgetting the syrup and resting juices.

  • Tip

    Florence's Top Tip
    Swiss chard must be treated as two parts: the stalks should be trimmed and gently cooked and the delicate leaves wilted at the last moment.

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