Aromatic crusted pork fillet

  • Portions: 6/8 pp.
  • Level: 2/5
  • Preparation: 20 min.
  • Cooking: 30 min.
  • Season: For any season

The pig, my favorite animal! How can so many amazing cuts of meat, cured and smoked products come from one such creature.
From the muddy dirty pig pen to gold on a plate, the pig remains the most food versatile of the animal kingdom and with my favorite cut being the pork fillet or also known as the tenderloin. Found just behind the loin, surrounded by tissue and fat, hidden is this little gem.
In Tuscany the most common is the Arista, which is the loin, the cut running down the back along the rib cage, traditionally roasted and served with vegetables.
The pork fillet on the other hand needs care and understanding to obtain the perfect texture and temperature while cooking, like all cuts low in fat the tenderloin cooks very quickly so time and concentration is a key, otherwise you are left with a dry and tough dinner to serve.
The idea for this dish came from a favorite, maybe the one dish that i would have as my last, Crumbed pork cutlets. A mixture of herbs and breadcrumbs, coating a thin slice of pork fillet, shallow fried until golden and crunchy, a dish where seconds is a must and leftovers looked forward too. But in a modern twist from your usual flour, egg wash and bread crumbs i have tried to bring this concept to a refined status.

Ingredients

  • 2 large pork fillets
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 1 large onion
  • 50g Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Red wine (or any wine you prefer)

Herbed bread crumbs

  • 1kg of day-old Tuscan bread
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Parsley
  • Garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil

To make your crumbs, it is important to make sure the bread is not too dry, in a blender, blend your bread pieces into large crumbs. Finely chop your herbs and mix together.
In a large pan on low heat, add your olive oil and bread crumbs and slowly start to toast them, using a whisk (this helps break up and separate the bread) continuously stir and toss the bread, add a a little more oil and then all your herbs. Season with salt and pepper and they are done once you have a nice light golden colour and the bread has absorbed the oil and developed a nice crutch. You can store these crumbs in an air tight container and keep for a few weeks, also fantastic on things like chicken, fish and other meats.
With your fillet, it is important to trim all remaining fat, tissue and membrane (you can get your butcher to do this) then with cooking string tie your fillet so you maintain a cylindrical shape during the cooking process.
Season with salt n pepper, rub with olive oil and place in a hot pan. Sear your fillet so you have colour on all surfaces and remove from the pan.
Chop your carrot, celery and onion into large pieces and place in a small baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil then place your fillet on top. Preset your oven to 180°C and then cook your fillet for 10-15min. If you have a thermometer cook until 69°C. Remove and let your pork rest (10min), this allows the natural juices to be reabsorbed back into the meat, keeping it juicy and tender.
Keeping your vegetables, add some good red wine to the baking tray and put on the stove, allow the wine to reduce, adding some water or stock to help give body to your sauce. Transfer all the vegetables and red wine liquid to a food processor and blend until you have a smooth sauce, pass through a fine sieve and season to taste.Remove the string from the fillet, cut into serving portions. Brush with a little Dijon mustard around the fillet (this help the crumbs to stick) Roll your pork into the crumbs and press down gently so the crumbs stay. Bake again for a further 5 min then serve straight away with your red wine sauce.

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