Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Pigs in the Orchard

Filetto di Maiale con Mela e Salvia & Patate Dolce
Apple & Sage Filet of Pork with Sweet Potatoes

Some things are simply meant to be- like pork and apples! There is something great about having a sweet and juicy component towards a pork dish and apples are best of all as far as I am concerned. Maybe it is simply because that is what a happy pig would have enjoyed eating :-)

So this evening I prepared a simple dish of thinly sliced pork tenderloin with apple and sage and a side-dish of rosemary sweet potato. Quick, easy, cheap, cheerful and guaranteed
to please! Let me show you exactly what I am talking about...

I started off with the sweet potatoes. I cut them into small slices, which I left unpeeled and boiled them carefully for 5 minutes. Blanching the potatoes this way, helps to keep them moist and delicious when you fry them, especially if you add a little mint and garlic to the water for some subtle extra flavor. Once the potatoes have boiled for 5 minutes, drain them off, set them to one side and get busy with the pork!

I added a tiny pat of clarified butter to my hot frying pan and in went the pork slices, at the top temperature, for 2 minutes from each side. This was more than enough time to get them lightly brown and basically "cooked"- so at that point I removed them from the frying pan and carried on with my next ingredient- the apple slices!

I let two slices of apple brown in the juices of the pork, adding a tiny hint of cinnamon and nutmeg to give them some extra flavor. After a minute or so from each side, I deglazed the frying pan with a good splash of Calvados and continued cooking the apple slices until they had absorbed all of the liquid and begun to soften slightly.

And back into the frying pan the pork went! This time I also added the potato pieces and I seasoned everything well with a mixture of coarse sea salt, black pepper, chopped garlic, lemon zest, rosemary and caraway seed, which I ground down in a mortar and pestle. 

I set the apple slice on top of the pork and then dropped a couple of sage leaves into the juices in the frying pan so that they would get nice and moist and infused with even more flavor. I pressed the sage leaf down onto the apple, added a little drizzle of honey and pushed the pan and everything on it under the broiler for 5 minutes until everything was back up to temperature, as well as being golden and delicious!

And the juices left at the bottom of the pan... well you know you are going to love them too!

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