These delicious pork chops are served with a tangy, moreish tomato chutney cooked up by one of my favourite people – award-winning food writer Hope Malau. Hope and I were colleagues on DRUM magazine for many years, and he is not only talented and humble, he is also a real mensch with a great sense of humour. This recipe is taken from his first cookbook, Johanne 14: Real South African Food (Quivertree Publications), which is not only filled with authentic South African recipes but with a dose of humanity, too. Why the name? It eludes to the Bible verse John 14 verse 1, which begins: “Let not your heart be troubled …”, which is popular in the Zion Christian Church. “But Johanne 14 also means something else,” Hope explains. In the townships of South Africa, it’s an affectionate term for a head of cabbage, which is inexpensive and can be cooked in many different ways. “It will give you a wholesome meal every time,” says Hope, who is now a food editor on Woolworths’ TASTE magazine. “If you have cabbage, you should not let your heart be troubled …” The ability to conjure up a tasty, heart-warming meal from scant ingredients, entrenched in the culinary culture of the townships, is a theme running through this lovely book. For Hope, it all started with his beloved father, a body builder who worked at Vaal Reefs mine as a chef. “Papa’s huge frame demanded a lot of food, and food he loved, and I loved him and all that he loved, and so I got hooked.” The dishes in Johanne 14 are those that feature at family celebrations and traditional gatherings “across the spectrum”. So you’ll find Rusks and Koeksisters alongside Nama ya kgoho e phehilweng (Chicken Stew). For Hope, the most vital ingredient is a feeling of togetherness and community.
To WIN a copy of Johanne 14, scroll down to the bottom of the post.
Pork Chops With Tomato Chutney
500 g cherry tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
90 g (½ cup) raisins
2 green apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
400 g (2 cups) sugar
200 ml (¾ cup) white wine vinegar
2,5 ml (½ tsp) ground ginger
5 ml (1 tsp) chilli powder mixture
4 cloves (optional)
Dry spice rub
15 ml (1 tbsp) chilli powder
5 ml (1½ tsp) ground cumin
5 ml (1 tsp) black pepper
5 ml (1 tsp) salt
2,5 ml (½ tsp) paprika
2,5 ml (½ tsp) dried mixed herbs
1,25 ml (¼ tsp) garlic powder
1,25 ml (¼ tsp) onion powder
1,25 ml (¼ tsp) chilli flakes
1 kg pork leg chops
20 g (4 tsp) butter
1. To make the chutney, place all the ingredients in a pot and gently bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring regularly to prevent sticking on the bottom of the pan, for about 1 hour or until thick.
2. To make the dry spice rub, combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl.
3. Heat a griddle pan or light a fire. Rub the meat with the spice mixture to coat it well. Cook or braai the chops over medium heat for 15 minutes or until done to your liking.
4. Place the chops on a plate and dot with butter to melt over the meat while it rests for 10 minutes. Serve with tomato chutney and bread to mop it up.
Johanne 14: Real South African Food was the national winner in the Culinary Heritage category of the 2017 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. Halala Hope! You can read more about Hope’s food journey here.
I have ONE COPY to give away to a lucky reader! Simply send me your name, address and email address in the comment section below and you stand a chance of being the lucky recipient of Johanne 14! The competition closes on 6 May 2016.