This simple, tasty, marinade has maple syrup, mandarin juice, garlic and a touch of cinnamon to make the pork tasty.
Marinating and keeping the fat on while baking makes the pork tender and prevents that rubbery texture that sometimes happens when you bake chops. The fat is rendered in a frypan. The pork is served with sauce, mandarin segments, rice and salad with a manadarin vinaigrette.
Ingredients 2 large pork chops
Salt and pepper, to season
For the marinade 3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 mandarins (2 juiced, 1 segmented)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (not flavoured)
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp black pepper
Mandarin vinaigrette 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 - 3 tbsp mandarin juice, to taste
Garden salad, to serve
Cooked rice, to serve
Combine the marinade ingredients in a baking dish, add the pork chops and mandarin segments. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours, flipping over after 1 hour (or 4 hours if marinating overnight).
The marinade will give the pork great flavour
Preheat the oven at 150 degrees. Take the pork out of the fridge and bring to temperature.
Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until tender. Place on a wire rack to drain any sauce.
The low heat will make the pork tender
Transfer the pork, fat side down onto a hot frypan to render the fat for 4 - 5 minutes. Do not let the flesh touch the frypan. Transfer to a plate and lightly cover with foil.
Be careful as the fat will sizzle and pop as the fat renders
In the meantime, pour the sauce into a saucepan and boil for 5 minutes to reduce slightly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Add the vinaigrette ingredients into a jar and shake to combine. Pour onto the salad and toss to combine.
The mandarin vinaigrette
Serve the pork with mandarin segments, sauce, rice and salad.