1bouquet garni made up of 1sprig of thyme, 1bayleaf, 2sprigsparsley and a small piece of celery, tied with a thread
½stick of cinnamon
apinch of nutmeg
3tablespoonsdry white wine
20g (¾oz) butter
Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/Mark 2. Peel the onion and slice into fine rounds. Peel the garlic and chop it coarsely. Bring 1litre (1¾pints) of water to the boil and plunge in the tomatoes. After 1 minute remove them and refresh under cold running water. Peel the tomatoes and cut them in half horizontally. Press each half in the palm of your hand to squeeze out seeds and excess moisture and chop the flesh coarsely.
Heat the olive oil in a large enamelled cast-iron casserole. Meanwhile, season the pork chops with salt and pepper, and sprinkle lightly with flour. When the oil is hot, sear the chops. Let them turn pearly white on both sides, then remove them and keep aside on a plate. Throw the onion slices into the hot casserole and fry to a beautiful golden colour, then add the garlic and the bouquet garni. Lay the pork chops on the bed of onion, scatter the diced tomatoes over the top and add the cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour in the white wine, cover and cook in the oven for 1¼ hours. Watch to see that the cooking liquid doesn’t evaporate too quickly (which may happen if the lid is loose). If it does, add 2tablespoons of water.
A few minutes before the end of the cooking, peel the banana. Cut it in half lengthways and then cut each piece in half. Sprinkle each of the these four pieces with flour. Heat the butter in a small frying-pan and brown the pieces of banana. They should still be slightly firm. Drain on a plate and keep warm.
When 1¼ hours are up, make sure that the pork is thoroughly cooked. The vegetables should have reduced to a thick purée; if not, cook for alittle longer. Remove the bouquet garni and the cinnamon. Place a pork chop on each of two heated plates and pour over the sauce, well seasoned with salt and pepper. Decorate each chop with two pieces of banana. Serve with plain boiled rice.
Sturdy red wines (Brouilly, Moulin à Vent or Coteaux d’Aix)