Sunday, August 29, 2010

Pork Fillet - slow cooked

This is one of my favourite dishes to make and also eat.  It fills the house with the delicious smell of meat cooking in wine and garlic (similar to Maltese rabbit or Coq au vin), it's really easy, and is soooo so tasty!  I like to serve this in winter with pleny of mashed potatoes, with the winey garlicky gravy poured over it.

In summer, I just boil potatoes in salted water, and dress with some olive oil :)

The most important thing to start off with here is a good quality Pork Fillet.  Make friends with your local butcher, even if it's the local supermarket butcher (for example, in Malta, Prime butchers are fantastic for pork products!).

remove the fatty sinewy bits for extra tenderness.

You will need:

  • Plenty of garlic chopped roughly
  • Some wine (any colour, i happened to have an open cask of JP Chenet Rose so used that)
  • Some mediterranean herbs (i used herbes de provence, but you could use a mixture of rosemary, thyme, oregano, etc).
  • Salt, pepper, olive oil.

Prepare the fillet - wash it well, and remove visible fat.  It's ok if there's a bit that remains.  As a whole, pork fillet is very lean, and you will only find fat in tiny amounts on the outside.  Pat this dry with kitchen towel, and season with plenty of pepper. 

ok... Get a wide, heavy bottomed deep frypan or saucepan with a lid.  Heat some olive oil on a low-medium heat, and add the roughly chopped garlic.  Remove the garlic with a slotted spoon AS SOON as it starts to colour.  You don't want it to burn!  bitter garlic is shit!

Get the fillet, and just before adding it to the pan, sprinkle liberally with seasalt.  Do not do this until the last second.

Add to pan, maybe turn up the heat a little, and brown the fillet all around.

As soon as it has colour all the way around (shouldn't take too long), add enough wine to come up to about 2 cm deep.  You don't want the fillet to be swimming, but you don't want it to dry out either.  Add the garlic and a SMALL amount of herbs.

As soon as the wine starts bubbling, reduce the heat and possibly move the pot to the smallest burner, and let simmer for around 1.5 hours, tightly covered, occasionally turning.  If it starts to dry out, for the first 30 minutes of simmering just add some wine, but after that add water.

When it's ready, it should be almost falling apart, and very tender.  
Note how the sauce has kind of "separated".  This is how u can tell that something slow cooked in sauce is done - same goes for bolognese sauces, curries etc. 

I am of the strong belief that this dish is better served warmed up the next day.  I think that if you allow the pork to sit in the wine/juices overnight, it gives it extra flavour and also makes it even more tender. 

For extra tenderness, slice the pork fillet thickly in rounds (so easy as it's a snake shape anyway!)

Note:  this is the first time i've used Rose wine in cooking, and i was totally impressed!  It has the richness that comes with using red, but the light tanginess that comes with using white.  It went great with pork, and I imagine the same would go for chicken, rabbit and strong seafood like octopus.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds just great Lara, and will try it this week for sure! Pat D :)