This is a great meal to make when you want all the flavours of a roast pork dinner but with none of the hassle – this simple traybake is essentially a roast dinner made in one tray! Delicious pork chops cook on top of roast potatoes, parsnips and apple with crispy sage and caramelised onions for a weeknight treat that is ready in under an hour.
Those of you who read this blog often will know I love traybakes – I love any recipe that involves putting lots of ingredients in one tin, putting it all in the oven and letting the oven do the work, while I relax. I had done lots of chicken and sausage traybakes and I began to wonder what else might work. One of my favourite cuts of meat is pork chops, I usually do these in a frying pan, but I wondered if they might work when given the traybake treatment. The answer is they do, but only if you sear the chops in a frying pan first. You can miss out this step (in which case, they take about 20 minutes at 200C), but they really do taste miles better if you sear them in a hot griddle pan (or normal frying pan) first. I like to give each side 1 minute, plus an extra 30 seconds for the fat on top. Then pop them in the oven on top of the vegetables for the last 15 minutes.
My next question was, well what goes with pork? For me pork works wonderfully with lots of different flavour, but the ones I went for in this tray bake were parsnips, apples and sage – all great flavours that work really well together. I then added some roast potatoes, onions and garlic for a really tasty traybake that only takes an hour from start to finish.
I admit, this is not quite as straightforward as some of my traybakes, you do really need to parboil the potatoes to get the best roast potato texture/flavour and, as I have mentioned above, you do need to sear the pork, but apart from those fairly straightforward activities, it is a case of chucking everything in one pan and leaving the oven to do the work.
This dish is simple enough to make on a weeknight, but enough of a treat to have at the weekend too. I often serve it just as it is, but you may want to add a green vegetable and some gravy for a more substantial meal. The flavours in this dish pair well with a Chilean Chardonnay or a South African Chenin Blanc.
Pork, Parsnip and Apple Traybake
- Olive oil
- 1 kg baking/roasting potatoes
- 500 g parsnips or baby ones
- 1 medium cooking apple or two eating ones
- 1 red onion
- 8 cloves garlic
- 8 sage leaves
- Salt and pepper
- 4 pork chops
- Preheat your oven to 200C.
- Drizzle olive oil over the base of a roasting tin, enough to thinly cover most of the base. Put the tin in the oven to heat up.
- Chop the potatoes into medium sized chunks - they should weigh approximately 40g each.
- Put the potatoes into a saucepan. Cover with boiling water and cook for 10 minutes (start timing from the moment the boiling water goes in, NOT when the water starts to boil again).
- Cut the parsnips in half lengthways and widthways.
- Peel and core the apple. Slice into 16 slices.
- Cut the red onion into 8 equal chunks.
- Gently bash the garlic cloves but leave the skins on.
- When the potatoes are ready, tip them into the roasting tin and add the parsnip, apple, onion and garlic. Season with plenty of salt and black pepper and then turn everything over in the hot oil.
- Put the tin in the oven and cook for 15 minutes.
- Remove the tray from the oven and turn everything in the hot oil again. Put the tray back in the oven for a further 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, put a griddle pan (or normal frying pan) over a high heat and add a drizzle of olive oil to the pan. Lightly season the chops with salt and pepper and fry them in the hot frying pan for 1 minute on each side. While you are doing this, take each chop in turn and give it about 30 seconds on top too, to cook the fat.
- When the vegetables have been roasting in the oven for a total of 30 minutes, add the sage leaves and turn everything in the oil again. Top with the seared pork and cook for a final 15 minutes (the vegetables will have had a total of 45 minutes in the oven and the sage leaves and pork will have had 15 minutes).
- Serve the traybake just as it is, or with gravy and a green vegetable.