PORK CHOP WITH CONFIT OF ONIONS

Confit of onions is hard to resist, so I was determined to shorten the usual hour-long recipe for something manageable for an after-work supper. It’s all a question of getting a quick start by cooking the onions in generous amounts of butter, then leaving them to soften gently with red wine for color and a touch of sugar for sweetness. Onion confit complements rich meats like duck as well as pork. Big onions have the most flavor and the larger they are, the quicker you can slice them. Add mashed potatoes or pasta and you have a feast.

Serves 4
4 pork chops (about 750 g/1½ lb in total)
125 g/½ cup  butter
6-8 large onions (about 1.35 kg/3 lb), thinly sliced
250 ml/1 cup red wine
1 tablespoon sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Melt about a quarter of the butter in a frying pan. Season the pork chops on both sides and add them to the butter when it is just starting to brown. Cook for 4-5 minutes over a medium heat, turning to brown them on both sides. Transfer them on a plate.

2. Melt the remaining butter in the pan, add the onions and fry them, stirring often, until wilted and brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in the wine, sugar, salt and pepper and add a lid. The onions must now simmer very slowly and gently until soft and melting. After the onions have cooked for about half an hour, stir and adjust the seasoning. They should be very brown and may have caught on the bottom of the pan. Don’t worry this produces delicious, caramelized juices which are essential for flavouring the confit. If the onions have not browned well, cook for 1-2 minutes over a high heat to finish,

3. Set the chops on top of the onions, cover tightly, and leave over a low heat for 5 minutes to warm through. Transfer to individual plates for serving.