Pork and ham


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


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

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

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


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