“Chops are, of course, what QCH was originally designed to serve in the 1800s, to give the factory workers of Clerkenwell a hot meat lunch,” the team behind London restaurant, The Quality Chop House, explain.
“Whether those Victorian chops were as ‘quality’ as the restaurant claimed is debatable. Today, at least, we think our chops definitely live up to our name. It’s the thickness rather than the weight of a pork chop that is most important; a chop that is too thin, such as you might find on a supermarket shelf, will overcook.”
2 Mangalitza pork chops, 4cm thick
1. Preheat the oven to 90°C.
2. Use a sharp knife to remove the rind from the pork chop but leave on the thick layer of fat – you’ll be rendering it down and the resulting hot fat means you can caramelise the meat perfectly.
3. Score the fat. Place a dry frying pan over a low heat and lay the chop in the pan, fat-side down, to render for 10 minutes. You should end up with a good centimetre of cooked fat on the chop, as well as about a centimetre of hot pork fat in the pan. Increase to a medium-high heat. Lay the chop sideways in the pan and cook it for two minutes on each side; you want to turn the chop four times in total – so, cook one side for one minute, turn, cook the other side for one minute, turn and repeat. You should have a deep, caramelised crust on both sides after these four turns.
4. Remove from the heat and take it out of the pan. Rest for three to four minutes, then pop it into the preheated oven to cook for 10–15 minutes. Rest for another 10 minutes and serve.
5. It will cut like butter and eat like butter – and the fat will be insanely delicious.
THE QUALITY CHOP HOUSE: Modern Recipes And Stories From A London Classic by William Lander, Daniel Morgenthau & Shaun Searley, photography by Andrew Montgomery, is published by Quadrille, priced £30. Available now.