Pork and ham

SMOKED PORK WITH POLENTA AND PIPERADE

A simple, quick (if you use ready-cooked polenta), supper dish with great colours and flavours which takes its inspiration from the Pays Basque. You can prepare the whole thing ahead ready for its final 20-minute baking.

Serves 4-6
1 small smoked pork shoulder (Schiffala) with bone, about 1 kg
parsley, thyme, bay leaf, peppercorns, 1 onion
olive oil
500g ready-cooked polenta (looks like a large yellow sausage)
2 small courgettes, sliced
1 clove garlic, mashed
1 onion, sliced
1 red + 1 yellow pepper, seeded and sliced
1 x 400g tin tomatoes
salt + a pinch of chile powder or Piment d’Espelette

  • Put the pork in a medium-sized pan, cover with water and add some parsley and thyme sprigs, 2 bay leaves and a halved onion
  • Bring to a boil and simmer gently for about 30 minutes
  • Remove pork from the stock and cut it off the bone (put the bone back in the stock, simmer a bit more for maximum flavour and freeze it, or use for a great soup)
  • Cut the pork in thickish slices
  • Oil a large ovenproof dish, slice the polenta thickly, arrange it in one layer in the dish and top with pork slices
  • In a large frying pan, heat some olive oil and fry the courgette slices on both sides till golden; set them aside
  • Add the garlic and onion to the pan and cook till soft but not brown, add the pepper and fry for a few minutes more until limp
  • Stir in the tomatoes, salt and chile/Piment d’Espelette. Raise the heat and cook, stirring, until the mixture reduces and thickens (about 10’)
  • Stir the courgette pieces into the tomato and pepper mixture, spoon the mixture over the pork and polenta
  • Heat the oven to 220oC/425oF
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and golden

PORK MEDALLIONS WITH MORELS AND MUSHROOMS

A quick and easy dish of tenderloins of pork with a creamy, mushroomy sauce.  Risotto goes well as accompaniment, or Rösti.

Serves 4-6, depending on your menu
25 g dried morels
2 pork tenderloins (about 750 g) cut in 2 cm slices
salt and pepper
1 tbsp oil
12 g butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
200g mushrooms, sliced
juice ½ lemon
200 ml mixed chicken stock + morel soaking water
250 ml whipping cream
a pinch of dried tarragon

  • Soak the morels in 1 cup cold water for a few hours
  • Drain, reserving the soaking water, which should be strained again through a fine muslin
  • Pat the morels dry
  • Season the pork slices, toss them in the hot oil and butter in a wide, shallow pan for 1 minute each side until lightly brown and crusted
  • Remove, keep them warm.  In the same pan soften the shallot gently, add the mushrooms and lemon juice
  • Cover the pan and cook gently for 5 minutes, uncover, add the drained morels and cook 5 minutes more
  • Measure out the morel soaking water and make it up to 200ml with chicken stock.
  • Add this to the pan, simmer for 5 minutes, then add the cream and tarragon
  • Tip the reserved meat back into the pan and simmer for 2 minutes more to reheat thoroughly and to allow the flavours to fuse
  • Check the seasoning and serve at once with risotto or rösti

FILET MIGNON OF PORK WITH WILD GARLIC SAUCE
For tender, moist meat, no mess in the oven and no fears of overcooking, the low-temperature method for meat (with the oven at a mere 80oC) is hard to beat. The pork in this yummy spring recipe comes with a brilliant green wild garlic sauce, which is equally good served with lamb. Yum.

Serves 6
2 filet mignons of pork (about 350g each)
salt and pepper
olive oil for searing the pork
a good handful (about 100g) of wild garlic
250ml crème fraîche liquide (whipping cream)
2 tsp cornstarch (Maizena)
salt and pepper

  • Season the pork with salt and pepper
  • Heat the oven to 80oC and put in some plates and a serving dish to heat
  • Pat the pork dry with paper towels (otherwise it won’t brown)
  • Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan
  • When the oil is thoroughly hot, sear the pork fillets on all sides (the ends too) until evenly golden-brown and a bit crusty – between 5 and 10 minutes in all
  • Transfer the pork to the serving dish in the oven and bake for 1-1½ hours
  • While the pork is in the oven, boil 1 cup of water in a saucepan with a pinch of salt, blanch the wild garlic for 5 minutes
  • Tip greenery and water into the liquidizer, add cornstarch and cream and blend till smooth (or blend in the pan with a hand-held blender); set sauce aside till needed
  • Shortly before serving, bring the sauce to a boil in the pan and simmer 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper as needed (taste it)
  • Slice the pork and serve with some sauce on the warm plates

HAM AND PARSLEY TERRINE
The real, Burgundian jambon persillé is a big production. Here’s a simpler recipe using cooked smoked pork (Schiffala/Schüfeli) mixed with aspic jelly, garlic and tons of parsley.
Makes a small 600ml terrine serving 4-6
600g boneless smoked pork shoulder (Schiffala/Schüfeli)
Parsley stalks, thyme, bay leaf
1 onion
a generous handful of parsley, leaves only, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 sachet aspic crystals, enough to set 250ml liquid

  • Put the pork shoulder in a medium-sized pan with parsley, thyme, bay leaf and onion, bring to a boil, simmer gently for 45 minutes
  • When cool enough to handle, lift out pork shoulder, reserving the liquid
  • Strain the liquid through a coffee filter or muslin and measure out 250ml (use the rest to make soup)
  • Put this in a pan, sprinkle the aspic crystals on top and heat till dissolved and the liquid is clear
  • Pare away any skin and fat from pork shoulder and chop meat roughly
  • Put the parsley in a food processor with the garlic and process till well chopped (or chop by hand with a sharp, stout knife); add shoulder and process again till roughly chopped – not too much, it should have some texture
  • Add the dissolved aspic and process again briefly to mix
  • Turn the mixture into a small terrine or loaf tin, pressing down well
  • Refrigerate till firm
  • Turn out terrine, slice thickly and serve with new potatoes and salad

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s