Cuisine Fiend

twice cooked pork fillet with mushroom sauce


Pork tenderloin is delicious and perfectly safe to cook pink, if meat is responsibly sourced. This is cooked twice – and still pink!

twice cooked pork fillet with mushroom sauce

Pork fillet or pork tenderloin is known in my house as ‘filet de piglet’. 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 bit 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.

pork tenderloin cooked 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 – aside: this feature is 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. NY Times Cooking’s Mark Bittman with input from readers’ comments and my own food intuition produces the loveliest pork fillet result.

pork fillet with porcini sauce

The bare bones of the recipe come down to basically five words: fry whole, slice, fry slices. But what you will then do with the pan juices is crucial. I maintain 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. Great dish, great use of fillet de piglet.

twice cooked pork fillet with mushroom sauce

Servings: 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.

soaking mushrooms

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.

searing pork

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.

cooking pork twice

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.

mushroom sauce

6. Spoon the sauce over the pork slices and serve straight away.

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