recipe

Credit: Photography: Earl Carter

Crumbed pork chops with celeriac remoulade

I like to think this recipe will make many of you “carry on like a pork chop”. It is just so more-ish that it is hard not to behave foolishly and jibber-jabber about its deliciousness, emulating the chop spluttering in a hot pan.

The brine softens the meat, which is further tenderised by a quick beating and then crumbed. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t secretly love a crumbed cutlet?

Add to this that wonderful French salad, a celeriac remoulade, with a hint of apple to satisfy the need for apple with pork, and finish with a brown sage butter. Voilà – you have a wonderful summer meal.

But back to the Aussie vernacular, which I always find quite comforting. Imagine a cookbook that takes our favourite expressions and turns them into proper recipes? While there is not much that can be done with fairy bread, lamingtons, pavs and sangers, many others could get a cookbook-style makeover. Win your chook in a raffle, get your milk from the milko, and she’ll be apples. Surely that’s easily translated to a roast chicken dinner with stewed apples and custard.

I’m not quite sure what to do with the rough end of the pineapple, but one thing is certain, I’d happily bring a plate of these pork chops and fancy coleslaw to a barbie and wash it down with a bit of superior château cardboard.

Crumbed pork chops with celeriac remoulade

Serves 8

For the brine

– 2 litres water

– 65g salt

– 90g honey

– 1 bay leaf

– 1 tsp peppercorns

– 2 sprigs thyme

– 2 sprigs sage

– 8 pork cutlets

– 1 cup plain flour

– 2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten

– ½ cup milk

– 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs

– clarified butter or oil

– 100g butter

– 16 sage leaves

Remoulade

– 450g celeriac

– 1 apple

– juice of one lemon

– 4 tbsp mayonnaise

– 2 tbsp seeded mustard

– 2 tbsp crème fraîche

– salt and pepper

To make the brine, bring all the ingredients to the boil in a large saucepan then reduce the heat and simmer until the salt has dissolved. Set aside to cool. Add the cutlets and leave in the brine for 24 hours. Remove and pat dry.

Take a meat mallet and bash out each cutlet a little, to about 7.5 millimetres thick. Assemble a crumbing set, season the flour and beat the egg and the milk together. Dust each cutlet with flour, dip in the egg mix and then cover with crumbs, making sure of an even covering. Set aside in a single layer.

Peel the celeriac and the apple, then shred to the size of matchsticks. Toss immediately in the lemon juice. Mix together the mayonnaise, mustard and crème fraîche. Season with salt and black pepper, then fold into the shredded celeriac and apple. Set aside for 30 minutes, then serve. Celeriac remoulade is not one to keep overnight as it can get a bit soggy.

Preheat the oven to 190ºC.

Heat a large skillet on the stove and add a generous amount of oil or clarified butter. When quite hot, carefully add the crumbed cutlets. This can be done in batches. Cook until golden brown on one side, then turn and cook until the second side is golden brown. Place the fried cutlets on a baking sheet. Repeat until all chops are pan-fried, cleaning the pan after each batch and adding fresh butter or oil. Bake for seven minutes in the oven until they are crunchy and golden, and cooked through.

Place the skillet back on the stove, heat, add butter and when it starts to brown, add the sage leaves. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve the cutlets with a pile of remoulade and spoon over a little sage butter.

This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on Dec 8, 2018 as "Cured in Strine". Subscribe here.

Annie Smithers
is the owner and chef of du Fermier in Trentham, Victoria. She is a food editor of The Saturday Paper.