Dec 30 2011
Friends for supper last week so I thought I would do something with the pork fillet but it looked a little small for four of us. Trawling idly through my mass of cookery books, Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall’s Meat Book came up trumps again, but, of course I didn’t have exactly the ingredients he suggested. So, instead of the mincemeat and dried chestnuts that he suggests, I used my own prunes; last summer’s Dit’sum plums dried slowly overnight in the bottom oven of the Everhot then stored in an air tight jar.
I split my little fillet nearly in half and filled the cavity with our sausage meat, salt, fresh ground black pepper and the pitted prunes. I tied the whole with string to make a big oblong, then wrapped it loosely in tin foil leaving the top exposed, poured lemon juice over it and chilled it in the fridge while I went into the garden to dig the very last Pink Fir Apple potatoes and pick winter spinach.
The pork went into a hot oven, 200c, for an hour until well done and golden. As the potatoes cooked I took the meat out of the oven, covered it and let it rest in a warm place on top of the cooker. I made a sauce with chicken stock, a table spoon of redcurrant jelly, and a pinch of cinnamon. I slaked a desert spoon of cornflour into a little extra stock, stirred that into the sauce and brought it just to the boil, stirring all the time until it thickened. Finally I stirred in a couple of tablespoons of cream, tasted the sauce and added seasoning.
The washed and destalked spinach wilted quickly in its own water. The secret with spinach is no extra water and the quickest possible cooking. I still needed to drain it thoroughly and press it down in the colander to really get it dry. A quick stir over the heat with a knob of butter and it was ready too.
As I sliced the pork and served my friends it suddenly occurred to me that I had produced everything on the plate ! Not pudding though; I found Nigel Slater’s wonderful quick lemon curd ice cream recipe in his lovely book, Kitchen Diaries. Speedy to make, it is sharp and delicious after the rich unctuous pork.