Tag Archives: pork

Porchetta Wellington

I can’t do Beef Wellington – it’s one of John’s ‘signature dishes’ and I wouldn’t dream of trying to emulate what is my absolute favourite of one of his dishes (I will blog it one day though). However, when I saw this in last Saturday’s paper, Sunday lunch was instantly sorted! And it didn’t disappoint – looks and tastes stunning – an absolutely great Sunday lunch for family and friends….that takes very little last minute effort and looks like you’ve spent hours slaving!!!!

Serves 6

What you need…

1 x 33cm x 25cm baking tin (or slightly bigger)

2 pork tenderloins (about 450g each)

Sea salt and black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

10 slices Parma ham

200g spinach, wilted and squeezed dry

2 x 375g ready-rolled packets all-butter puff pastry

1 egg, beaten

for the paté

100g unsalted butter

1 shallot, peeled and chopped

250g chicken livers, trimmed

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tablespoons brandy

½ teaspoon English mustard powder

for the herb mix

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 shallot, peeled and chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

150g chestnut mushrooms, chopped finely

6 thyme sprigs, leaves picked

2 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked and chopped finely

1 teaspoon dried crushed chillis

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

What to do…

First make the paté. Melt 60g of the butter over a moderate heat and then add the shallot and cook for 10 minutes, until softened. Tip in the chicken livers and garlic and cook, turning, for up to 5 minutes, until they are just pink in the middle. Tip in the brandy and the mustard powder and season with salt and pepper.

Pop the remaining butter into your food processor together with the liver mixture and whizz until smooth. Use a spatula to get every last morsel out of the processor and into a bowl. Cover with cling film and then pop in the fridge until needed.

Next, the herb mix. Heat the oil and gently fry the shallot for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, mushrooms and herbs and sauté over a high heat for 5 minutes. Add the crushed chilli and lemon zest, season to taste, cover with foil and cool. Pop in the fridge if you’re prepping this bit way in advance.

So, to the main event. Season the pork and rub with oil, then sear in a hot pan until golden all over. Set aside to rest and cool.

Lay out two overlapping sheets of cling film so they’re longer and wider than your tenderloins would be if laid side-by-side. Lay the Parma Ham slices across the cling film so they overlap to make a large rectangle. Spread with the paté, then place the tenderloins on top. Spread the herb mix evenly over the tenderloins and then cover with spinach.

Use the cling film to help roll up from one side to the other, creating a tight ‘sausage’ with the Parma ham encasing the tenderloins.

Unroll one sheet of your pastry, retaining the greaseproof paper that it comes with (no need to line your baking tin). Unwrap the pork and place in the centre of the pastry. Brush the pastry all around the tenderloins with beaten egg and then unroll the remaining pastry sheet, gently laying it over the top of the pork, pressing it around the edges. Discard the attached greaseproof paper from the top layer of pastry. Trim the pastry to leave a 2cm edge all the way around and seal the edges with a fork. Brush the entire wellington with the egg and then pop in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 200˚c / 400˚f / gas 6.

Bake your Porchetta Wellington for 45 minutes until golden. Rest for 10 minutes, sip wine, slice and serve to a deeply impressed group of family and friends – enjoy – it’s a great sharing dish!

Tip…

Make the paté and herb mix in advance, keeping them in the fridge until needed. Then, all you have left to do is a quick assembly job! (However, the paté will then be too hard to spread – I popped it into the microwave for 20 seconds – dead easy then!)

Inspired by…

Rosemary Shrager, The Big Family Cooking Showdown, Weekend magazine

How easy…

Not at all difficult (what a treat ready-rolled pastry is!) but it makes sense to prepare the paté and herb mix in advance.

 

 

 

Roast Fillets of Pork with Prune and Apple

Our default Sunday lunch is Roast Chicken and John is the one who makes this weekly treat, served with Yorkshires and roasted root vegetables (already blogged) but last week, I fancied a change and had seen this recipe in a magazine. The pork is fabulous: the meat is moist and succulent and the stuffing, flavoured with sage, prunes and apples, is simply sublime. The finishing touch is the wonderful crispy Parma ham that is the wrapping to this rather wonderful gift of a lunch. Definitely put this one on your Sunday lunch list – you won’t regret it!!!

Serves 6 – 8

What you need…

1 x baking tin, lined with baking parchment

Knob of butter

1 large onion, roughly chopped

1 medium Bramley apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped

Sausagemeat from 3 pork sausages

50g ready-to-eat dried prunes, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped

Sea salt and black pepper

2 x 450g pork fillets

8 slices Parma ham

for the gravy

300ml boiling water from the kettle

1 x chicken stockpot (I use Knorr)

2 tablespoons flour

100g chicken gravy granules

200ml apple juice

A good slosh of Marsala wine

Sea salt and black pepper

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 200°c / 400°f / gas 6.

First, make the stuffing. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a high heat, add the onion and sauté for 1 minute. Pop on the lid and sweat over a low heat for 15 minutes until soft. Add the apple and stir for a few moments. Set aside.

Put the sausagemeat, prunes and sage into a bowl. Season and then add the onion and apple. Stir to thoroughly incorporate.

Cover a large board with cling film. Place the pork fillets on top and then cover them with cling film. Take a rolling pin and bash the fillets until they are roughly one third thinner than when they started. Remove the cling film and spread the stuffing on one fillet, placing the other one on the top of the stuffing.

Onto your baking tin, lay eight slices of Parma ham, slightly overlapping and sit the fillets on the top so they lay across the ham. Roll up like a roulade so that the Parma ham is sealed underneath. My Parma ham kept breaking up so I produced more of a patchwork effect but that didn’t seem to spoil the overall appearance, so just go with the flow.

Pop your pork into the oven and roast for about 1 hour, until crispy and cooked through. Transfer to a warmed serving plate to rest.

Whilst your pork is cooking, turn your attention to the gravy. First, make your stock by using a balloon whisk to dissolve the stockpot into the boiling water. Into a hot saucepan tip the flour and then, over a high heat, gradually tip in the stock, thoroughly whisking in each addition before adding any more. Once all the stock is in, pour in the apple juice. This then, was the end of Mary’s recipe. We however thought that the gravy was too sweet and a little light on body so we tweaked as follows: tip the gravy granules into a large jug and then whisk in some of the hot stock/apple juice mixture. Gradually add all the liquid to the granules, whisking as you go and then pour it all back into the saucepan. Bring to the boil and then slosh in some Marsala. Taste. Season and add more Marsala to taste – pretty damned good!!!

Serve your pork in slices with the gravy – absolutely delightful and very, very moreish!

Inspired by…

Mary Berry

How easy…

The pork itself is dead easy. As you can see though, we struggled a bit with the gravy. For us, Mary’s version was too sweet. We were however very happy with the tweaked version which was a rich and smooth with a gentle sweetness from the apple juice. My advice would be to make the pork following the instructions and then to make your own favourite gravy, adding a little apple juice to it!

 

 

Higgidy Party Pie

 

Stuffed with duck, pork, apricots and garden herbs, this is so much more than just a hot water-crust pork pie! Created for celebrations (the original recipe has three pies, stacked to create a wedding pie) this is so gorgeous, it’s worth having a party for in its own right! Luscious, unbelievably tasty on the inside with fabulous crisp pastry on the outside, this pie has totally converted a woman who simply didn’t eat pies, to one whose flicking through the Higgidy cookbook looking for the next one to do! It’s gorgeous; if you’re feeding a crowd, make this the centrepiece!

Serves 12 – 16

What you need…

1 x 20cm spring form cake tin, 10cm deep

300ml water

250g lard

1 teaspoon salt

750g plain flour, plus a little for dusting

1 egg, plus a further 1 for glazing

for the filling

500g pork shoulder, cut into 1cm cubes

400g sausage meat

150g streaky bacon rashers, cut into 5mm strips

1 small bunch thyme, leaves stripped

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

2 tablespoons redcurrant jelly

1 egg, beaten

50g fresh breadcrumbs

2 duck breasts, skin removed and meat cut into 5mm strips

200g semi-dried apricots

Sea salt and black pepper

What to do…

To make the pastry, pour the water into a large saucepan, add the lard and salt and slowly bring to a gentle simmer over a moderate heat. Don’t allow it to boil.

Once the lard has melted, remove from the heat and tip in all the flour. Using an electric handheld whisk, beat the mixture to form a glossy paste. Add the egg and whisk until evenly incorporated. Tip out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for a couple of minutes until smooth.

Cut away one third of the dough and lightly roll it into a circle, slightly larger than the cake tin – this will be your lid – cover with cling film and pop into the fridge whilst you do the rest of the pie.

Shape the remaining dough into a rough circle and place in the middle of your tin. Gently work it over the base and up the sides of the tin with your fingers until just peeping over the top. Pop it in the fridge for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 190˚c / 375˚f / gas 5.

Put the pork, sausage meat, bacon, thyme, nutmeg, redcurrant jelly, beaten egg and 1 teaspoon salt into a food processor and whizz until evenly combined.

Sprinkle the breadcrumbs into the bottom of pastry case and then put half of the pork mixture on top. Next, add a layer of duck. Season and then add a layer of apricots. Finally, top with the remaining pork mixture.

Brush the top edges of the pie case with beaten egg and place the pastry lid on top. Crimp the edges to seal. Make a 1cm hole in the centre of the pie to allow the steam to escape and decorate your pie, if you fancy.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 160˚c / 310°f/ gas 3 and bake for a further 1½ hours or until the pastry has turned a deep golden brown. Take the pie out and allow it to cool for 15 minutes before removing it from the tin.

It’s so impressive to serve and that first slice draws ‘oooooohs and aaaaahs’ of delight. Then they taste it – yum!

Tip…

This fabulous celebration of a pie can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days so it can be made in advance of any entertaining.

Inspired by…

Camilla Stephens, Higgidy

How easy…

I was daunted when I first looked at recipe but in fact, this kind of pastry is really easy to make and the filling is just a case of a bit of prep and then assembly. And it’s soooooo worth it!!!!

 

 

 

Pan-Fried Pork Fillet with Prune and Armagnac Cream Sauce

It is only since I have been doing this blog, that I’ve tried the odd pork recipe – seriously, never cooked it and rarely eaten it before now. I have however become a total convert – this dish (and the pulled pork recipe) seal it! This dish is absolutely stunning – unbelievably quick and easy as well as tasting out of this world. The pork is delightful but it is the sauce of Armagnac, prunes and cream that creates the sensation that is this dish. Try it – it won’t be the last time! Simply delish!

Serves 4

What you need…

16 semi-dried prunes

Armagnac

1 650g pork tenderloin fillet, cut into 1 cm slices

Sea salt and black pepper

Knob of butter

150ml double cream

What to do…

The night before you want to enjoy this dish, pop the prunes into a screw-top jar and pour in Armagnac until they are just covered. With a fork, squish the prunes down into the Armagnac. Put the lid on and leave overnight to allow the intermingling flavours to develop.

For the meal, drain the prunes through a sieve, collecting the Armagnac in jug. Chop the prunes into quarters. Set aside.

Place the slices of pork onto a board and use a meat mallet or rolling pin to flatten them out into thin slices. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat a frying pan until hot, melt the butter and then add the slices of pork, frying on each side for 1 – 2 minutes or until golden and just cooked through. You will need to do this in batches so have a warmed dish ready for the cooked pork.

Once all the pork is cooked and in the warmed dish, add the Armagnac to the pan and carefully flambé the Armagnac (when I did it, the flames were HUGE so be careful – they last for just a few seconds). Once the flames have dissipated, add the prunes and cook for 2 minutes, mashing them gently with the back of a spoon.

Add the cream, season with salt and pepper and cook for a further minute. Serve the pork slices and pour over the decadent sauce and then…enjoy every morsel. That’s it – so simple and this dish is absolutely terrific – it tastes like you’ve spent hours in the kitchen rather than just a few moments! Really fabulous!

Serving suggestions…

Sauté potatoes go well and we enjoyed ours with roasted cauliflower (a forthcoming blog).

Inspired by…

James Martin

How easy…

Dead easy – you just need to remember to create your drunken prunes the night before!

 

Fantastic Feast of Pulled Pork

OK! A savoury OMG moment! I can count the number of times I have eaten pork on the fingers of one hand probably (other than bacon and sausages – they don’t count!) But…I am drawn to a pig roast but it never quite delivers in taste what the enticing aromas promise. So, anyway this recipe caught my attention and I have to say that I am now a total convert! This pork was succulent and sooooo tasty; flexible too – it was happy stuffed in rolls or dressed up with plums and a lovely potato and apple combination that I made up on a whim. Seriously, for a relaxed family and friends supper that everyone will just love, give this one a go. Oh also, zero effort – pop in oven and walk off for 6 hours – love it!

Serves 4-6

What you need…

for the pork…

1 x roasting tin, lined with enough foil to cover the pork

1.6Kg shoulder of pork, string and rind removed

2 teaspoons sea salt

2 teaspoons black pepper

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1½ tablespoons dark brown sugar

300ml hot water

for the sides…

4 red potatoes, chunked

2 cloves of garlic, chopped,

1 teaspoon sea salt and black pepper

Splash of olive oil

2 Pink Lady apples, cored and chunked

4 Ciabatta rolls

Knob of butter

4 – 6 plums, halved and stoned

What to do…

Preheat the oven to 220°c / 425°f / gas 7.

In a small bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients.

Unroll the pork and pop it in the foil-lined roasting tin. Rub the mixed ingredients all over the pork and pop it straight in the oven for 30 minutes to brown. Reduce the heat to 150°c / 300°f / gas 2. Pour the water into the foil and then wrap the foil around the joint and seal tightly. Cook for around 6 hours or until tender.

Just before you get to the end of the 6-hour cooking time, pop the red potatoes in a baking dish, scatter over with garlic and dried rosemary, salt and pepper and the splash of olive oil; stir to mix everything together thoroughly.

Increase the oven back up to 220°c / 425°f / gas 7 and uncover the pork. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes the remove from the oven. At the same time, pop in the baking dish of potatoes.

After 10 minutes, remove the pork from the oven, cover with foil and rest for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 200°c / 400°f / gas 6. Tip the apples into the potatoes, stir in and roast for another 25 minutes.

10 minutes before you are ready to serve, pop the ciabatta rolls into the oven to warm through – they should only take 10 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a frying pan over a moderate heat and then place in the plum halves, flesh side down. Turn the heat up to high and cook for 10 minutes until the flesh is just starting to go golden brown.

Everything is now ready and your can dive in. Put the lot onto a serving platter, start pulling the pork with two forks and then leave it on the platter for everyone else to help themselves: pulled pork in ciabatta rolls or just on it’s own with the wonderful addition of a few of those potatoes and the OMG plums – they go sooooooo well. Whichever choice, it doesn’t matter – it will all go! Enjoy – a fantastic feast of pulled pork that requires next to no effort!

Inspired by…

Lovepork.co.uk

How easy…

Seriously, next to zero effort for a really fantastic sharing supper!