RECIPE – Fillet of Pork in Milk

 

Sometimes my cooking gets into a rut and I have to shake myself out of it. When people come to dinner I tend to rely on the ‘tried and trusted’. Sometimes, though ‘tried and trusted’ morphs into ‘tired and disgusted’ (with myself, for my lack of effort). Last weekend , between waiting for FF to be annihilated and the hapless Greens to be composted, I placed a stack of cookbooks beside my favourite chair and browsed them, one by one. This idea, the result of that exercise, is a compound of Marcela Hazan and River Café, both rooted in Italian tradition. The recipe and method is pretty much Me.

The combination of milk and pork sounds unlikely but, believe me, it’s delicious. The addtion of lemon zest curdles the milk slightly and what you get is nutty, brown nuggets in the sauce.

1 medium-sized pork fillet

3 slim leeks, washed and cut into approx 12cm pieces

2-3 red onions, peeled and cut into quarters lengthways

Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Milk (ideally whole milk)

Zest of a lemon

Sprig of sage, sprig of rosemary

Serves 4

Preheat the oven to 220 C

Season the pork and sear briefly in a dry hot skillet or ridged griddle pan. Remove and place in a cast iron baking dish (I used a large Le Creuset). Surround with the leeks and onions and pour in the milk until it comes half way up the pork. Add the lemon zest and the sage and rosemary. Bring the milk to the boil then

Place in oven and bake for 30-40 minutes. Remove the pork and allow to rest. Return the dish to the stove top and boil briefly to reduce and thicken slightly. Scrape any brown residue from the sides or base of the dish back into the sauce. Slice the meat, either thinly or into medallions and serve with the vegetables, sauce and either mash or sauté potatoes.