Sicilian pork neck melanzane

Sicilian Pork Neck Melanzane

This dish turns ordinary pork neck chops into something unexpected and spectacular. Remember to remove the bones before you layer the dish for its final bake.
Recipe info
This dish turns ordinary pork neck chops into something unexpected and spectacular. Remember to remove the bones before you layer the dish for its final bake.
Ingredients
  • 6 pork neck chops (about 1 kg total), on the bone
  • 4 medium aubergines, cut lengthways into 1cm-thick slices
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 cans (400g each) whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
  • 1 cup (250ml) white wine
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup (250ml) grated Parmesan
  • 2 cups (500ml) grated mozzarella
  • Small handful of fresh oregano, chopped
  • Large handful of fresh basil Crusty bread, for serving
method

Preheat the oven grill to its maximum setting.

Lay the aubergines in a baking tray, drizzle with oil and season on both sides. Grill until golden, then flip and repeat. Set aside.

In the meantime, season the pork and brown in a hot ovenproof pan. Remove and set aside.

Add a little more oil to the pan and fry the garlic until fragrant. Tip in the tomatoes, wine, sugar and balsamic vinegar and season well.

Add in the pork chops and cover with foil.

Turn the oven to 180˚C and bake for 75 minutes, or until the meat is tender, taking a peek halfway through. If the sauce looks a little dry, add a splash of water.

Remove the pan from the oven and carefully lift the meat from the sauce. Remove the bones and discard.

Layer the meat, aubergines, sauce and Parmesan in alternating layers in a roasting dish. Sprinkle with mozzarella and bake for 20-30 minutes until golden and bubbling.

Scatter with oregano and basil, and serve with crusty bread to mop up the sauce.

WHY NOT…

… whip up a lasagne with the slow-cooked meat, layering it between sheets of pasta and topping with a simple béchamel sauce (page 72) before baking until golden.

… swap the aubergines for grilled strips of baby marrow.

… garnish with roasted vine tomatoes (pictured).

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