Friday, 30 November 2012

Love me tender

We're pork galore this week (even more than usual) as we start to cure our Christmas bacon, and a happy result of this is that we have quite a lot of pork tenderloin - the porcine equivalent of fillet of beef. In the shops from tomorrow (Saturday), and we're feeling rather generous; it'll be £12.50 a kilo instead of £16.50, so fill yer boots and get cooking.

Although it's a fairly lean cut - and fat usually means taste - these tenderloins are from free range, slowly reared, rare breed pigs, and so still have bags of flavour. There are loads of recipes for pork tenderloin out there, however here are two of ours, both on the table in around 40 minutes.  Go East with a warming, zingy Thai curry, or make Tim's pork, pepper and mustard 'quick casserole', something he makes on the farm at least once a fortnight. Each recipe serves 2-3, and is easily scaled up if you're feeding a crowd.

Thai pork curry

If you want to make a noodle soup instead of serving over rice, add 250ml of good chicken stock with the coconut milk and ladle over cooked Thai rice noodles to serve.

1 pork tenderloin, around 700g
1 tin full fat coconut milk 
Fish sauce
Handful coriander leaves
Spring onions

Curry paste
1 large piece of ginger
3 sticks of lemon grass, coarse bits removed and discarded
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 white onions, peeled
1 red chilli (deseeded if you don't like it too hot)
Stalks from a bunch of coriander
2tbsp sunflower oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar

Cooked rice, to serve

1. Roughly chop the ingredients for the curry paste, then blend until smooth. 
2. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and add the paste. Fry over a medium heat until sweet smelling and golden, for around 15 minutes. Add the coconut milk, and simmer for a further 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, cut the pork fillet into rounds roughly 1.5cm thick. Season with a little salt and pepper, and brown in a separate pan. Once browned, set to one side.
4. When the sauce has been simmering for 15 minutes, add a few shakes of fish sauce to taste. Add the pork pieces and cook for a further 5 minutes, to ensure that the pork is cooked through. 

Serve over cooked rice with plenty of sauce, chopped spring onions, and coriander leaves.

Pork, pepper and mustard casserole

Everyone has a failsafe, delicious but on-the-table-before-you-know-it dish; here's our owner, Tim's. Serve with something starchy to soak up the sauce and steamed green beans, broccoli or sautéed cabbage.

1 pork tenderloin, sliced into thickish rounds
1 white onion, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
1tbsp Dijon mustard
2tbsp wholegrain mustard
250ml double cream
Fresh green herb of your choice - tarragon, parsley, chives and basil all work well
Squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
Salt and pepper
Butter and oil for frying

1. Put a knob of butter and a drop of olive oil in a large frying pan. Season the pork pieces and fry over a high heat until golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
2. Turn the heat down a little and add the onion and peppers to the pan. Fry until fairly soft and sweet smelling, add the mustard and cook for a further two minutes.
3. Return the pork to the pan and add the cream, a little salt and pepper and the fresh herbs. Simmer for five minutes, taste, and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Add a little lemon juice if you feel it needs it, and serve.

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