Few places do pork chops like Portugal. If you’re thinking of taking a self catering getaway, or are just wanting to whip up a few holiday meals of your own, consider opting for a self-catering villa. Having your own space gives you the freedom to relax, dictate your schedule and – most importantly – cook! With these easy, delicious Portuguese pork chop recipes, you’ll be off to a flying start.
Fried pork chops
Pork is really popular in Portugal, and a prominent feature of many dishes. One of the simplest ways to cook it involves just a handful of ingredients and a decent pan.
For each person dining, take one pork chop, before seasoning them all with salt, pepper and – if you can handle the heat – some locally bought hot sauce. Finely chop the garlic along with a bunch of bay leaves, before scraping it all over the meat. Drizzle with lemon juice, cover the chops and let them marinate for an hour or so.
Many Portuguese fry the meat in pork lard, but you can use olive oil if you can’t source the real deal. Melt your oil or lard in a pan and then add the pork chops, browning them on both sides.
At this point you can add either water or white wine to the pan, alongside a knob of butter, to boost the flavour of the sauce. If you aren’t sure how long to cook everything for, check the chops with a meat thermometer or sneak one out of the pan and cut it open.
Compliment the spicy allures with seasoned rice and a fresh green salad.
Red pepper pork chops
If you’re seeking something which’ll make your mouth melt, these red pepper pork chops will do just the trick…
Start with a visit to your local market or greengrocers. Buy large red bell peppers, medium-sized green chillies (jalapeños), garlic, parsley and, of course, some fresh pork chops. You’ll also need a splash of dry white wine, such as Vinho Verde, and a few basic kitchen utensils.
To create your pork marinade, roast your thinly chopped peppers and chillies (with their seeds removed) until they are soft. If you have a blender, use it fuse together the peppers and chillies with garlic, olive oil and salt. Otherwise, using a mortar and pestle will have a similar effect. You can adapt the amounts you use depending upon your love of the ingredients.
When the marinade is ready, arrange your chops in a dish and rub it into the meat. Pour over the wine and put the pork in the fridge, leaving it to marinate for an hour and flipping the meat over halfway through.
After marinating, the chops will be ready to cook. Heat up your barbecue or grill, and then fry the marinated pork until browned. Green vegetables and fresh bread go brilliantly with this recipe, particularly when washed down with that leftover wine.
Who knew pork chops could be this tasty? Experience these flavours for yourself and browse a selection of properties in Portugal.
By Imogen Bishop, a part time travel writer, part time restaurant critic, and full-time mum. She has an affinity for Mediterranean cuisine and can usually be found in the kitchen with a bottle of olive oil in hand.