We have published the vegetarian twist on this dish already. Today we are back with the original traditional version. As we mentioned before, Bħal Fil-Forn means ‘Like in the Oven’. 

Basically it is layered pork chops, onions, garlic and potatoes with some thick Maltese Sausage thrown in. And instead of roasting it, it is cooked in a similar way to braising.  However, everything is thrown in raw and left to cook slowly for a few hours.

bhal fil form living without g
Image: Senza G

INGREDIENTS (INGREDJENTI):

  • 4 Pork Chops (4 kustilji tal-majjal)
  • 5-6 large Potatoes, thickly sliced (5-6 patatiet imqattgħin ħoxnin)
  • 1 onion, sliced (basla mqattgħa)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves thinly sliced (2-3 sinniet tewm imqattgħin irqiq)
  • Vegetable Stock, approx one cup (madwar kikkra stokk tal-ħaxix)
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce (1 mgħarfa Worcestershire sauce)
  • 2 Maltese Sausages, sliced thickly (2 zalzettiet tal-Malti mqattgħin ħoxnin)
  • Fennel Seeds (żerriegħa tal-bużbież jekk tiggustah)
  • Salt & Pepper (melħ u bżar)

METHOD (METODU):

  • Start by placing half of the potatoes, followed by some onions, on the bottom of the pan, season and then place the pork chops on top. Ibda billi tpoġġi nofs il-patata, u ftit mill-basal fil-qiegħa tal-borma. Roxx ftit bżar u melħ, u wara poġġi l-kustilji tal-majjal fuq.
  • Layer the rest of the potatoes and onions. Kompli poġġi f’saffi l-patata u l-basal.
  • Place slivers of garlic in gaps. Tinsiex tpoġġi t-tewm fis-saffi.
  • Sprinkle fennel seeds if using. Jekk se tuża’ ż-żerriegħa tal-bużbież, roxxha issa. 
  • Mix in the Worcestershire Sauce with the stock. Żid il-Worcesterchire sauce mal-istokk.
  • Gently pour in the stock and place the Maltese Sausage in between some of the potatoes.  Drizzle with a little olive oil, pepper and salt. Ferra’ ftit ftit l-istokk, u poġġi z-zalzett tal-Malti mall-patata. Roxx ftit żejt taż-żebbuġa, bżar u melħ.
  • Cover and leave to cook over a very low flame until potatoes are fork tender. If it starts getting dry, add a little more stock. Agħtti kollox u ħallih itektek fuq nar baxx sakemm il-patata tirtab. Jekk jibda jixxotta, żid l-istokk ftit ftit.