twice cooked pork fillet with mushroom sauce
Mon, 15 June, 2020
Pork tenderloin is delicious and perfectly safe to cook pink, if meat is responsibly sourced. This is cooked twice – and still pink!
What to do with pork tenderloin?
Pork fillet or pork tenderloin is known in my house as ‘filet de piglet’. A bit cruel, I know, and no vegetarians will applaud me. For years I used to think the cut was a bit pointless: too puny and lean for proper chops; boring roasted; expensive for a stir fry.
It is also usually awkward size: a bit too large for two, a bit too little for four; perfect size for households of threesome which are actually few and far.
It’s a little like mock turtle: you can use it in pork stroganoff instead of beef, you can flatten and breadcrumb it into garlic fried pork channelling chicken, or you can hoisin sauce it up, roast to oblivion and shred it into pancakes in place of duck.
Whether you would want to, as it’s not that much cheaper than beef or duck and downright pricier than chicken, is the question reinforcing its pointlessness in my view.
Cook it twice!
But as I love weird recipes, this one caught my fancy: twice cooked meat and still lightly pink inside! double frying! leisurely pace of a recipe!
Here's an aside: sensible pace of a recipe is a feature vastly undervalued and so important. A delicious dish that needs to be put together in a mad rush with two timers and three pans going simultaneously is not my cup of tequila.
But this is very reasonable and not rushed. NY Times Cooking’s Mark Bittman with input from readers’ comments and my own food intuition produces the loveliest pork fillet result.
How to make twice cooked pork fillet?
The bare bones of the recipe come down to basically five words: fry whole, slice, fry slices. First the whole fillet is seared in a pan on all sides for about four minutes. You let it cool down - which is when you can see wonderful opportunities of a dish prepared ahead - and then slice it neatly.
Using the same pan, just wiped, the slices are browned briefly in butter. But what you will then do with the pan juices is crucial.
Sauce for pork tenderloin
I maintain that dried noble mushrooms, porcini, ceps or morels will be the best frame for the pork medallions but who knows? Maybe some kind of green goddess sauce appeals to you more, or spicy salsa?
If you stick to Mark Bittman’s flavouring of mustard and lemon, you won’t go very wrong either. Either way it's a great dish and great use of fillet de piglet.
twice cooked pork fillet with mushroom sauceServings: 2Time: 20 minutes plus soaking mushrooms
- 5g (2 tbsp.) dried porcini or cep mushrooms
- 1 whole pork fillet, trimmed
- salt and black pepper
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 200ml (¾ cup) double cream
1. Soak the dried mushrooms in a bowl of hot water for at least 15 minutes. Remove them from the water and squeeze out the moisture, reserve the liquid. Chop the mushrooms finely and return to the bowl, set aside.
2. Season the pork fillet with salt and pepper. Heat ½ tbsp. oil and ½ tbsp. butter in a large frying pan and brown the whole fillet on all sides, for about 4 minutes. Remove to a plate and let it cool down. Wipe the pan and cool it down too.
3. Slice the pork fillet into medallions about 2.5cm thick. Warm a serving dish in low oven.
4. Heat the remaining butter and oil in the frying pan over high heat. When the butter is foaming, add the pork slices and brown for 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to the warm dish and keep warm.
5. Pour the mushrooms and the liquid into the pan over medium heat. Bubble it away to reduce, stir in the mustard and double cream and cook for a while longer until the sauce thickens.
6. Spoon the sauce over the pork slices and serve straight away.