Pork Chops with Sage and Parma Ham

This recipe by

Claire Macdonald



Serves 4

  • 4 loin chops, bone removed and the outer rim of fat trimmed almost away
  • 2 sage leaves per chop
  • 2 slices of parma ham per chop
  • 4 level teaspoons flour, sieved, one over each chop
  • 50g / 2oz. butter and 2 tablespoons olive or rapeseed oil in a non-stick frying of saute pan, to cook
  • 150 mls. /1/4 pint brandy
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • About 10 grinds of black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of salt – the ham contributes saltiness


Put the trimmed loin chops between 2 large sheets of baking parchment. With the end of a rolling pin or other heavy instrument – I have a handy huge wooden spoon which is perfect for this task – bash the pork chops evenly all over. This makes them thinner, and helps to tenderise them.

Put 2 sage leaves on each bashed chop, and wrap as best you can, each chop in 2 slices of parma ham. Dust each with a teaspoon of sieved flour.

Melt the butter and heat the oil in a wide, non-stick saute pan, and when the butter is foaming and the oil very hot, fry the prepared chops for about 2 minutes on either side – the ham should be fairly crisp. Remove the cooked chops to a warmed dish covered with a couple of thicknesses of kitchen paper.

Meanwhile, add the brandy to the pan, let it flame – you may beed to ignite it with a lit match – then add the lemon juice, pepper and salt. Swirl the contents of the pan, and serve a spoonful of the pan juices on each chop.

Claire Macdonald

Claire Macdonald is an award winning chef, cookery writer and hotelier. A passionate and early advocate of Scotland’s natural environment and organic food production, she is known for using the best of Scottish seasonal ingredients in her recipes.

You can see Claire in action on her website.

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We celebrate our Golden wedding in June this year. To some, being married for 50 years is almost unthinkable – 50 years with the same person! Well, for a start and I can only speak for myself, but the past 50 years have flown by. It feels so much less. I don’t feel as old as I am, and I am still waiting to feel grown up.  And I am very firmly of the opinion that there are two  vital ingredients to help a marriage through the inevitable ups and downs. These ingredients, completely essential, are laughter and food. It’s impossible to  know which is the most important, but possibly food has the very slight edge on humour!

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