cooking, food blogging, food photography, pork, stir-fry, thefoodygrail.com

Pork Fillet and Scallops

Pork and scallops are a classic combination. Served with a sweet and spicy sauce this dish is one of my favourites.

Pork Fillet
Pork Fillet with a sweet and spicy sauce. Served with rice noodles, scallops, shiitake mushrooms and griddled spring onions.

Ingredients: Serves 2

1 pork fillet trimmed.

Marinade/sauce:
6g grated ginger.
6 dessert spoons of honey.
6 dessert spoons of red wine vinegar.
6 dessert spoons of light soy sauce.
2 dessert spoons of dark soy sauce.
4 dessert spoons of olive oil or veg’ oil
1 red chilli sliced including seeds. Use 2 chillies if you like it hot.
Juice of 1 lemon.
1 tsp five spice.
1/2 tsp ground black pepper.
100ml fresh apple juice.

Garnish:
4 fresh scallops with roe. Removed from shells and cleaned.
6 spring onions – trimmed.
10-14 Shiitake mushrooms.
Drizzle of olive oil for cooking.
100g Dried rice noodles.

Stir-fry Vegetables: Anything you like but I use:
4 florets of cauliflower sliced.
12 sugar-snap peas.
2 spring onions sliced.
1/2 chilli sliced.
1/4 of Chinese lettuce sliced/chiffonade.
2 dessert spoons olive oil or veg’ oil.
1 dessert spoon of light Soy sauce.

Method/cook:

Marinading the pork:
Firstly, place all marinade ingredients into a bowl and mix together.
Cut the pork fillet in half and add to the marinade.
Leave the pork to marinade for two hours or over night.

Cooking the pork:
Once the pork fillet has marinaded remove from the marinade. Keep the marinade to one side for the sauce.
Drizzle the pork with olive oil, or veg’ oil, and seal in a hot frying pan.
Place the sealed pork in a preheated oven for 20 minutes – gas 7 or 220°C/425°F
When cooked, remove from oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

Cooking Garnish:
On a griddle pan lightly brown the spring onions in a little olive oil. Set aside and keep warm
Lightly fry the mushrooms in a little olive oil. Set aside and keep warm.
Fry the scallops and roe in olive oil for two minutes on each side. Set aside and keep warm.
Cover your rice noodles with boiling water and leave for 10-12 minutes until softened. Drain, rinse in cold water and set aside.

Cooking Stir-fry:
In a wok heat up the oil.
Add cauliflower, spring onion and chilli and fry for 1 minute.
Add half a cup of water and continue to cook for a further minute.
Add the sugar-snap peas and cook for 1 minute.
Add the Chinese lettuce and soy sauce and cook for 1 minute.
Serve.

Serving:
Put your saved marinade into a frying pan and heat on a medium heat until reduced by half. This will create a sweet and spicy sauce.
Re-heat your noodles and serve with slices of your cooked pork, your cooked garnish and stir-fry vegetables.
Enjoy.

food blogging, pork cheeks

Pork Cheeks

Pork cheeks are tender and delicious. Served with an apple and Madeira sauce.

Pork Cheeks.
Pork cheeks served with an apple and Madeira sauce. Accompanied with roasted beetroot, parsnips, mashed potatoes and apple crisps.

Ingredients: (serves 4)

For braising the cheeks:
8-12 pork cheeks.
1/2 red onion – chopped.
1/4 of a fresh leek – sliced.
1 stick of celery – chopped.
1 Bay leaf.
Sprig of thyme.
Sprig of parsley.
Knob of butter.
2 tbls olive oil.
900ml of beef stock.
2 cloves of garlic – no need to peel.

Madeira and apple sauce:
1/2 red onion – chopped.
4 chestnut or button mushrooms – sliced.
1 tbls red wine vinegar.
Knob of butter.
100ml Madeira wine.
100ml fresh apple juice.
salt and black pepper for seasoning.
pinch of sugar.
All the stock/liquor left over from cooking the cheeks. (strained)

Accompaniments:
5 medium potatoes for mash.
Pinch of nutmeg – optional.
3 parsnips.
3 fresh beetroot.
2 apples.
1/2 lemon.
Fresh thyme.
Salt and pepper for seasoning.

Method:
Heat your oven to gas 4 or 180°C / 350°F
Remove the silver sinewy membrane from the pork cheeks. A filleting knife is ideal as you can remove the membrane like removing skin from a fillet of fish. Place pork cheek sinew side down and slide the blade of the knife between sinew and the meat of the cheeks.

In a non-stick sauté pan seal and lightly brown the pork cheeks in the olive oil.
Once sealed, remove pork cheeks from the pan and set aside.
Pour any excess oil out of the sauté pan.
Now add the butter, onion, celery and leek to the sauté pan and lightly fry until just starting to brown.
When onion, celery and leek are starting to brown add the sealed pork cheeks, beef stock, thyme, bay leaf, parsley and garlic to the pan.
Bring contents of sauté pan to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
Once simmering, place a lid on your sauté pan and cook the cheeks for two hours in the oven.
When the pork cheeks are cooked, remove the cheeks from the cooking liquor/stock and set aside.
Strain the cooking liquor/stock. Skim off any grease with a small spoon and set the stock aside to make the sauce later.

Note: If you don’t have a sauté pan suitable for the oven – just use a casserole dish.

Note: If you have space in your oven, cook the beetroot and parsnips at the same time as your pork cheeks. If not, cook the pork cheeks first as they take 2 hours.  You also need the cooking liquor/stock from the pork cheeks to complete the dish.

Beetroot:
Set oven to gas 5 or 190°C / 375°F
Place whole, unskinned, beetroots in a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and place in the oven.
Depending on the size, they will take 1 hour to 2 hours to cook. Once cooked, set aside.

Parsnips:
Set oven to gas 5 or 190°C / 375°F
Half and quarter the parsnips.
Place on a baking tray – drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Roast in the oven for 35-45 minutes.
When the parsnips are cooked set aside for later.
Tip: Before placing in the oven, Sprinkle parsnips with brown sugar for extra sweetness.

Mashed potatoes:
Peel and quarter potatoes.
Place in a pan and cover with cold water.
Bring pan of potatoes to a gentle rolling boil and cook for 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
Drain potatoes, add a knob of butter, season with salt and pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Mash with a potato masher or ricer.
Set mash aside for later.

Note: If you want gloopy ‘chefs mash’ add cream and more butter – I find with this dish the Madeira sauce is rich enough without the use of cream and excesses of butter..

Apple crisps:
Set oven to gas 5 or 190°C / 375°F
Note: You can prepare these the day before and store in an airtight container.

Have ready a bowl of cold water containing a squeeze of lemon.
Slice apples (3-4mm thick) and remove any pips. Place apple slices in the bowl of water and lemon – this stops the apples from going brown.
Dry apple slices and place on greaseproof paper on a baking tray.
Bake until crisp for 40-50 minutes.

Madeira and Apple sauce: (the stock/liquor from the cooked pork cheeks is used to complete the sauce)
Melt butter in a frying/sauté pan.
Fry onion and mushroom until soft and lightly brown.
Add red wine vinegar and reduce.
Add Madeira wine and flame to burn off the alcohol. (flame Madeira by turning up the heat and tilting edge of the pan toward the hob flame – or use a kitchen blow torch.)
Once the alcohol has burned off, add the apple juice, a pinch of sugar and all of the, strained, stock from the cooked pork cheeks. Reduce sauce by a quarter.
Note: I like to leave the red onion and mushroom in the final sauce, but you can strain it if you prefer.

Serving:
Heat the Madeira sauce and add the cooked pork cheeks – thoroughly heat until the cheeks are piping hot.
Warm your cooked beetroot, parsnips and mashed potatoes.
Serve with a side of apple crisps.
Tip: Sprinkle tender shoots of fresh Thyme over each plate.

Tip: The pork cheeks can be cooked a day in advance – let them cool and store the cheeks and strained stock in a refrigerator.