Moroccan-Spiced Pork Kebabs

DSC_0022[1]This gorgeous recipe is pretty much from ‘Moro’ by Sam and Sam Clark (Pinchitos morunos).  I’d never thought of using pork fillets for kebabs, but they were perfect.

Take one pork fillet (500g) and cut in half lengthways.  Cut each piece into cubes (2-3 cm) and pop into a bowl.

Put a pinch of saffron into a cup with 2 tablespoons of boiling water and allow to infuse while you prepare the other spices.

Grind half a teaspoon each of coriander seeds, cumin seeds and fennel seeds.  Add 3-4 cloves of garlic, a ripped up bay leaf and half a teaspoon of salt and mush them all up together.  Add a dessertspoon of olive oil and a dessertspoon of red or white wine vinegar and mix.    It doesn’t need to be a smooth paste.

Pour the spice mix and the saffron-infused water over the pork, mix it together and leave it covered in the fridge for a minimum of two hours.

Thread the meat onto metal skewers and finish each one with a green chilli.  Cook on a hot barbecue until well charred and cooked through on each side.

 

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Roast Pork Loin with Quince and Sage

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Tie up the lean pork loin (about 1kg or so) and stick some sliced garlic (2 cloves) and sage leaves under the string.  Season with salt and pepper.

Melt some butter in a large, very hot frying pan, then add the whole joint of pork.  Brown on all sides before carefully pouring in half a glass of white wine.

When the initial frazzle is over, put the pork and the buttery juices into a lined ovenproof dish.  Cover with a lid or tinfoil, then roast at 190 degrees for about an hour.

Meanwhile, slice and peel about four quinces and an onion.  Mix with some chopped parsley.  After the pork has had its first stint in the oven, surround it with the quince-onion-parsley mix.  Pour over half a pint of water.  Cover again, then cook for a further 45 mins to an hour, but check the meat from time to time with a knife to see whether it is becoming tender.  Turn the oven down if it is browning too much.

When the meat is ready, remove it from the roasting tin; cover and keep it warm while you make the sauce.  It’s not hard – just stir a tablespoon or two of creme fraiche into the quince mix, sprinkle the quince with a couple of teaspoons of sugar and let it cook through in the oven for 15 minutes while the pork rests.

Slice the pork and sprinkle with more parsley.  Serve with the roasted quince and sauce.

 

A Teeny Tiny Tasty Terrine

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I am really missing our usual summer holidays in France, hence the wistfully French taste of a garlicky terrine, perfect with crusty bread and a few guerkins.

You’ll need a 0.5 litre terrine with a lid or a smallish loaf tin.  Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.

Ingredients

A chopped onion and two crushed cloves of garlic, softened in a biggish dod of butter.

200g fatty pork mince and 150g finely chopped pig’s liver (I’d do this in the processor to minimise contact with the offending article)

A handful of breadcrumbs (just take the crusts off and skoosh up a slice of any sort of bread in the processor), 2 teaspoons of soft green peppercorns, a pinch of mace, a sprinkle of nutmeg, a scant teaspoon of sea salt, a good grinding of black pepper, a tablespoon of white wine or marsala and a tablespoon of brandy.

Mix all of the above together really, really well.  Line your terrine with a couple of rashers of unsmoked bacon, then pour in your terrine mixture.  Cover with a few more pieces of bacon and tuck in a couple of bay and sage leaves.

Put the lid on or cover with tinfoil and cook in a tray of boiling water (which comes half way up your terrine) for 45 – 50 minutes.  It’s done when a skewer comes up hot from the middle of the terrine.

By all means, compress your terrine with weights overnight, or just leave it to cool before refrigerating.  Either way, leave it until the next day before eating.

Fillet of Pork with Crème Fraîche

You know that your thoughts are wandering towards Autumn in France when you have this for dinner.

A knob of butter and a little olive oil

1 large onion and 2 cloves of garlic, sliced

250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced

1 pork tenderloin fillet

paprika

thyme (fresh or dried)

5/6 fresh sage leaves, if you have them

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

1 glass dry white wine or French cider

crème fraîche

an apple, cored and sliced

On a low heat, fry the onion and garlic in the oil and butter.  Add the salt, then the mushrooms and continue frying for a further 2 – 3 minutes.

Now push all of that stuff to the edge of the pan and turn the heat up high.  Keeping the pork fillet whole, add it to the pan to sear.  While the one side is browning, sprinkle the other side with paprika, thyme and black pepper.  Sprinkle the sage leaves into the pan.

Turn the pork over and give it another 2 minutes on that side before pouring in the wine/ cider and half a glass of water.  The fillet doesn’t need to be fully immersed.

Turn the heat way down and stir in the mustard and the apple.  Put the lid on and simmer gently for 30 minutes, turning half way through.

Now take out the pork fillet and cut it in half.  If the inside is still pink, best to stick it back in the pan for another 5 – 10 minutes, but if it’s done, rest it in tinfoil while you make your pasta and finish the sauce.

To finish the sauce, taste it and adjust your quantities of salt and pepper, then add about 3 tablespoons of full fat crème fraîche.  Let it bubble for a few moments.

Serve the pork in slices with the sauce and tagliatelle.