14 August 2011

Crunchy Baked Pork, Baked Sweet Potato and Tomato Salad

It's a bit of a long title that one, isn't it?  However, the title is the hardest part of this meal - and I'll treat it as a meal, rather than three separate dishes, as it all went so well together.  With no pots or pans to wash up, this one is definitely a winner in my book!

To begin with, I set to with scrubbing the sweet potatoes.  Their skins never appeal as far as eating them is concerned - although they're very tasty, in fact - but I like to make sure they're scrupulously clean, all the same.  I always top and tail them too, as these bits always seem so gnarly, I can imagine dirt can't help but hide in there.  If I was dirt, I would.

I then dry them off, rub them with olive oil, liberally sprinkle with salt & pepper and into the oven they go for their first half an hour.

Next, I tackled the pork steaks - which was easy enough.  They just needed the bulk of the fat trimming from their backs and they were good to go.  Dustbin 1 (Jonty) was on hand for this operation, just in case there wasn't enough room in the actual bin for the offcuts.  He's a thoughtful dawgie, like that.

Next job was to make up the flour/egg/breadcrumb plates.  The flour was easy enough, or so I thought.  It seems that the abortive gnocchi attempt had used up all our plain flour, but fortunately we had lots of bread flour, which got used instead.

I consulted the recipe (which again, I can't remember where I got it from.  I am SO going to have to keep a note of recipe sources)  as to how much dijon mustard to use in the egg mix.  I had copied down three tablespoonfuls!  Surely not!  I pondered this for a while, then decided on three teaspoonfuls as being the far more sensible alternative.  As it was, I would only use two teaspoonfuls in future, as it had far too obvious an influence on the overall flavour, I felt.

Next, was the breadcrumbs, garlic and herbs.  I quickly ran two slices of Oatilicious bread across the grater to create the 1 cup of breadcrumbs.  Next, I grated two cloves of garlic in there, then chopped a tablespoonful of fresh parsley and a teaspoonful of dried tarragon.  If I could have found fresh tarragon, I'd have used it.  However, Mr Asda hadn't heard of fresh tarragon, so that was that.  In retrospect, I'd cut the garlic down to one clove, as it did tend to slap you around the face a bit.  Between the garlic and the mustard, I'm afraid the tarragon took a very back seat - which wasn't how it was supposed to be, I'm sure!

So, on with the dipping.  First in the flour, then the egg mix, then onto the breadcrumbs.  It occurred to me then, that I had no idea whether I was supposed to be breadcrumbing one side or both sides.  Although the one side I had done, had used an enormous amount of the breadcrumb mixture and I really wasn't sure it would last for all six.  Still, it didn't seem to make sense to do just one side, so after a bit of judicious dusting off, I breadcrumbed both sides.  In fact, I ran out of breadcrumbs towards the end and the last two had just one side breadcrumbed - so I'd make a little more, the next time I do this one.

Something else that I would make sure to do, is to turn the steaks halfway through cooking.  Because I didn't do this, one side was crunchy and the other a tad soggy - which was a shame.  However, you live and learn.

Once the Pork was safely in the oven and the Sweet Potatoes had been turned, I got on with the Tomato Salad.  It was a simple matter of slicing two large vine ripened tomatoes and some cherry tomatoes.  Then add liberal amounts of freshly ground pepper, a sprinkling of sea salt, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and likewise of extra virgin olive oil.  Next, slice up a red onion and sprinkle that over the top, along with a little of the parsley - or basil, if you've got it.  Leave to let the flavours mingle for some 15-20 minutes before serving.

So, the last thing to do was the Chilli cream to go in the Baked Sweet Potatoes.  Again, this is incredibly easy.  Decant a small pot of soured cream into a bowl, add finely chopped fresh red chilli and some finely chopped parsley.  There is an alternative, which involves coriander instead of the parsley and lime zest.  I love this particular version, however son & heir isn't good with lime, so we had the parsley version.

I loved this meal, even though the Pork was way too garlicky for my taste.  Hubby had problems with the garlic too, and found the Pork wasn't tender enough for his preference.  He loved the Baked Sweet Potato and chilli cream, plus the tomatoes.  Son & heir ate everything except the last half of his sweet potato, which was incredible considering what a fussy-pants he's becoming.  He even ate the cherry tomatoes with balsamic on them!  Mind you, I didn't tell him about the balsamic.  *wink*  I thought I'd just wait and see.

So, apart from the problems I've outlined above, I think next time I'd flatten out two of the steaks in the hope that they would be able to become more tender during the cooking process.  I can't think of any other way of ensuring they come up more tender that doesn't include par-cooking them before adding the egg and breadcrumb mix, which isn't the best route!

Here's the recipe for the Pork, if you need the recipe for either the potatoes or the tomato salad, just let me know and I'll include them.


Ingredients :

6 pork steaks, or 3 pork chops
1 cup of plain flour
1 egg, whisked lightly
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 cup of breadcrumbs
1 clove garlic, grated
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper.

Method :

1.  Pre-heat your oven to 180deg C/350 deg F/Gas mark 4.

2.  Trim the pork of the majority of its fat and prepare a roasting tray to receive it once coated with breadcrumbs.

3.  Then, prepare three plates - one with the flour, plus some seasoning.  The second with the egg and mustard mixture and the last with the breadcrumbs, garlic and herbs.

4.  Dip each steak or chop into firstly the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs and place it onto the roasting tray.

5.  Once every one is coated, place the roasting tray into the oven for 15 minutes.  At the end of that time, remove from the oven and flip over onto its other side.  Replace and bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until they appear to be done.

6.  Serve.



  1. This sounds yummy will try it someday an let u know I'm Not the best cook but it sounds easy enough

  2. It really IS easy enough, Helen! Take it steady and do everything in the order I've set out above and you'll be fine. :)

  3. I love that yogurt topping over a simple baked sweet potato! tangy and sweet at the same time! yum. got another idea for your baked sweet potatoes, for a slight variation when you are trying to keep to your meal plan:


    check it out if you like, and it was nice chancing upon your blog!

  4. Oh, I just love that idea! Cracking an egg into the sweet potato just would never have occurred to me to do, but I'll bet it's gorgeous! I doubt I could convince Hubby to give it a go as he's not an egg eater, but I know he'd love the butter!

    I'm sure you'll find my footsteps around your blog again, in the future! :)


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