Usually an overlooked cut of meat, pork loin can be quite intimidating to some, as it often dries out when overcooked.
This lean meat is actually just as good for your body as lean beef and chicken. One health benefit of pork loin is that it is full of thiamine (vitamin B that helps with body function), much more than any other meats such as beef and lamb.
Plus, it tends to be cheaper than any other cuts too!
Pork loin with mushrooms, figs & chestnuts
- 4 pork tenderloin fillets (about 150g/5½oz each) trimmed
- 80 g (2¾oz) unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 200 g (7oz) mixed wild or cultivated mushrooms
- 12 cooked whole chestnuts
- 4 tbsp sherry vinegar
- 2 medium-firm figs quartered
- 200 ml (7fl oz/scant 1 cup) chicken stock
- 1 tbsp chopped chives
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Boiled rice optional, to serve
- Season the pork fillets with pepper, then tightly wrap each one in cling film (plastic wrap). Twist and secure each end with a knot, pushing out any air. Put a large saucepan of water on to simmer, with a steamer insert on top. Put the pork parcels in the steamer, turn the heat down to low, cover and cook for 12 minutes, then remove and leave to rest for 1 minute until cool enough to handle. Remove the cling film and pat the pork dry with paper towel.
- Heat a frying pan (skillet) over a medium-high heat. Add 20g/¾oz of the butter and 1 tablespoon of the oil and when the butter is foaming, add the pork and cook for 3–4 minutes, turning occasionally, until browned all over. The pork should still be slightly pink in the centre, which is perfect. (Alternatively, brown in an oven-proof frying pan as above, instead of steaming, then transfer the pork to an oven preheated to 140°C/275°F/Gas 1 for 7–9 minutes. Remove and rest for 1 minute.)
- While the pork is cooking, heat 20g/¾oz of the butter and the remaining oil in a frying pan (skillet) over a medium-high heat. When the butter is foaming, add the mushrooms and fry for 2 minutes until they have released all their juices and are golden. Add the chestnuts and cook for 2 minutes. Add the sherry vinegar and deglaze the pan by stirring to remove any caramelized bits stuck to the bottom. Add the figs, pour in the stock and cook for 3–4 minutes until reduced by one quarter, then add the remaining butter. Cook for a further 2 minutes until the sauce has reduced and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir in the chives.
- Cut each pork fillet into diagonal slices and spoon the mushroom mixture over the top before serving with rice, if you like.
Extracted from France Today Magazine.
Originally from French Countryside Cooking by Daniel Galmiche (Nourish).
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