As we move into Summer, I find myself using more and more from the garden in my cooking. One recipe I tried out this week was, unusually, an Ainsley Harriot one from this week's SFTW. Simon Rimmer is still off with his poorly achilles tendon snap, but I tuned in none-the-less. All the recipes looked good, in particular the Herb Pork with Bean Puree. I used parsley, thyme, rosemary and cabbage spring greens from the garden and will soon be able to add garlic and onions to the list. The only thing left now is to grow the pig itself!
The recipe link is above, but I'll paraphrase and alter it to make it briefer here! It's really not as complicated as it looks. As you know, I tend not to add quantities as it's up to you and your tastes how much of what you'd like! Herbs - you need enough to cover the pork. Onions and garlic - again, as much as you would like to mix with the the can of beans. Easy!
chopped fresh rosemary
chopped fresh thyme
pork fillet, fat trimmed
apple, cut in half, core removed
onion, finely chopped
canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
cheddar cheese, grated
chopped fresh parsley
caraway seeds - I used fennel seeds instead and it still tasted good!
1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Cover the pork loin in olive oil then roll in the chopped rosemary and thyme. Fry for 1-2 minutes until browned.
2. add a blob of butter to the pan and place the apples halves in , cut sides down. Fry off til golden brown, turn over and sprinkle with a little sugar.
3. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast for 10-12 minutes, or until the pork is cooked through and the apples have caramelised. Remove the pan from the oven and set the pork aside to rest (reserve the pan juices). Keep warm.
4. Fry the onions and garlic and fry for 4-5 minutes, or until softened but not coloured. Add the beans and continue til warmed, then the grated cheese and stir until melted. Blend with the parsley until smooth and puree-like. If you need to add a few tablespoons of the chicken stock to loosen, then do!
5. Ainsley used caraway seeds but I only had fennel seeds (again, from the garden!) so used those instead. Fry off for a few seconds, then add the shredded cabbage. I used a few outer leaves. If it begins to catch, add a few spoons of the stock and continue to fry until the liquid evaporates. Season according to taste.
6. To serve, spoon the bean and cheese purée into the centre of two serving plates. Pile the wilted fennel cabbage on top. Arrange the pork slices on top of the cabbage. Place one caramelised apple half alongside each serving. Drizzle over the reserved pan juices.
This really isn't as phaffy as it sounds and is absolutely delicious. It's a case of frying the meat and apples, frying the onions, garlic and beans, then frying the cabbage. Ok, reading it back it sounds like a lot of frying, but use olive oil and leave out the butter if you're worried about the amount of fat! You could steam the cabbage and add the fried fennel seeds? I believe that the taste is the most important, however, and this really was good. I'll definitely be making it in the near future.