Tag Archives: prunes

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!

 

Just Gorgeous Beef Casserole with Red Wine and Cinnamon

 

I’ve had this recipe in my ‘to do’ file for years but every time I’ve flicked through, I’ve seen the words ‘prunes’ and ‘cinnamon’ in the ingredients list, hesitated and then….moved on. However, I finally decided to try it and, as a woman who has cooked hundreds of beef casseroles, this one stands head and shoulders above the rest! The eclectic mix of ingredients make for a fabulously rich sauce with beautifully intensified, silky flavours – everyone around the table was agreed – this is the best of all that we’ve tried: why did we wait so long? Try it, you’ll love it!

Serves 6 – 8

What you need…

1 x ovenproof casserole

600ml boiling water from kettle

2 beef stockpots

1kg braising steak, diced

600ml robust red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon works well)

4 garlic cloves, chopped

4 cinnamon sticks

12 bay leaves

8 slices good quality streaky bacon, chopped

Knob of butter

12 small shallots, chopped

24 baby carrots

16 soft dried prunes

2 tablespoons plain flour

What to do…

The night before! Put the meat, wine, garlic, cinnamon and bay leaves into a large bowl, give them a quick stir and pop in the fridge overnight, allowing the flavours to develop.

The next day, preheat the oven to 150° / 300°f / gas 2.

In a small jug, dissolve the stockpots into the boiling water from the kettle (a small balloon whisk works really well). Set aside.

Drain the meat, reserving the marinade. Then dry the meat on kitchen roll.

Fry the streaky bacon in a large saucepan over a moderate heat until it starts to brown. Add the knob of butter and then the shallots, carrots, prunes and reserved cinnamon and bay leaves. Sauté until the shallots and carrots start to brown. Using a slotted spoon, remove the ingredients to your casserole dish.

To the pan, add the meat and brown. Tip in the flour, stir well and then reintroduce the shallots mixture. Whack up the heat to high and add the stock and the marinade. Bring it to the boil and then tip the whole lot back into the casserole dish, pop on the lid and then stick it in the oven. Cook in the oven for 2½ hours. The smell, as it’s cooking will be amazing! Take the casserole out and check that the meat is succulent by retrieving one piece and trying it – if it’s not quite falling apart in your mouth, pop it back in for another 15 minutes, but it should be done by now.

Once removed from the oven, leave to rest for 15 minutes and then serve with really lovely buttery mashed potato (naughty) or baked potatoes (good) as well as either boiled broccoli or a steamed leek and cabbage mix. Take your first forkful, and sit back and smile – the flavours really are sublime and frankly, you just want to keep eating more!

Inspired by…

Waitrose Food Illustrated from several years ago!

How easy…

Really easy and so worth it!