Pan-fried pork cutlet with apple, fennel, watercress, & radish salad

You can remove the rind and barbecue these chops. They are delicious when slightly smoky. Potatoes, either roasted or boiled and dressed in olive oil and lemon juice, are a great accompaniment.


  • 4 thick pork cutlets, with rind, at room temperature
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 lemon squeezed into cold water
  • 2 baby fennel, trimmed
  • 3 red radishes
  • 1 granny smith apple, cored
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, for cooking
  • 1/2 bunch watercress, picked
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 tbsp chopped sage leaves
  • 1/2 tbsp chopped mint leaves


With a very sharp knife, score the pork rind (not too deep) at 1cm intervals then rub salt into the rind.

Using a mandolin slicer, finely slice the fennel and radishes and place in acidulated water.

Finely cut the apple and place in acidulated water.

Make a dressing by whisking together extra virgin olive oil, cider vinegar, lemon juice, honey and seasoning.

Place olive oil in a fry pan over a medium-low heat. Using tongs to hold the cutlets, press skin side into the pan. Cook rind slowly, about 3 or 4 mins. It won’t get super crackly like a roast but it will get crunchy. Remove from pan, increase heat to medium-high then cook for about 4 minutes on both sides depending on thickness. Leave to rest for a few minutes.

Drain apple, fennel and radish thoroughly from the acidulated water and place in a bowl. Toss through with watercress, herbs and dressing and adjust seasoning to taste.

Serve pork cutlets with dressed salad on the side.

NOTES: Want something to drink?

The refreshing acidity of dolcetto, a black grape variety grown in Italy's Piedmont region, is a fantastic match for pork. With fine chalky tannins and violets and rose petals on the nose, the 2013 Luigi Pira Dolcetto d'Alba gives a lightness to the intensity to the flavours in this delicious dish.

First published in the Good Weekend.

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