31/01/2013

Pork Tenderloin with Cocquina Squash, Bramley Apple and Savoy Cabbage

Pork Tenderloin with Cocquina Squash, Bramley Apple and Savoy Cabbage
Perfect partners!

I've made this before a number of times and it fast becoming one of my favourite quick mid-week meals.

Quick? Yes, 30 minutes, all done and activity all the way through. I could probably shave it to 25, or even 20 minutes, but resting meat before slicing is always a good thing, so it's 30 minutes.

Straight to it ...

Oven on. 200C/400F. Kettle boiling.

Let's have a spin around the ingredients ...
  • Pork tenderloin - about a foot long, so cut in half to make it more manageable.
  • Cocquina squash - a squash variety which has a more crumbly texture than my usual butternut.
  • Bramley apple - the staple British cooking apple. It's quite tart so we'll round that off with some honey and butter later on.
  • Jus - we'll make a quick jus (posh word for thin gravy) from the roasting juices later on using some chicken stock, onions and garlic. Sage, too, for perfume.
  • Greens - savoy cabbage, today. Something green, anyway, whatever you fancy.
  • Garnish - chives.
  • Fats - butter and goose fat. You could easily use coconut oil, lard, dripping, whatever your favourite fat.
So, here's a stress-free, activity packed 30 minutes ...

30 ...

Pop an oven-proof tray into the oven with some cooking fat to melt. I used goose fat.

While it's melting, peel and slice the squash, cutting each slice in half to match the shape and size of the apple segments.

Arrange the squash pieces in the tray and pop it back into the oven. This will want the full 30 minutes, so this is done first.

More goose fat in a skillet and start to brown off the pork. We'll be keeping it on the stove for about 10 minutes, then transferring to the oven for another 10, then resting for 10. The meat needs the 30 minutes.

25 ...

Turn the pork over.

Peel and core the apple, cutting into generous segments.

Snip the stalky bits out of the savoy cabbage, shred and get it steaming. Other greens may take less time so, depending upon your choice, start this off later on.

Peel and slice an onion, get it softening in a little butter in a sauce pan.

Turn the pork onto each side and ensure that it's coloured all round.

20 ...

Pop the pork into the oven. If you don't have an oven-proof skillet, simply transfer to an oven-proof dish but keep the frying pan - we want that flavour!

Turn the squash.

Add some crushed garlic and sage to the softening onions and pour on some chicken stock. Let it sit like this extracting the flavour into the stock.

15 ..

Pour yourself a pre-dinner drink. I went with a Negroni - equal parts Campari, gin and Red Vermouth.

10 ...

Remove the pork from the oven, place in tin foil and set to rest.

Turn the squash.

Deglaze the skillet with the chicken stock, scraping all the flavour into the gravy. Pour back into the pan.

With the skillet cleaned, melt some butter and just a little honey. Place the apple segments into the skillet and gently fry them off - the butter and honey will work with the tartness in the apple, rounding it off without killing it off.

5 ...

Turn the squash.

Turn the apples.

Strain the gravy and whisk in some butter - this will thicken it and give it a glossy sheen. Heat off, let it sit.

0 ...

Glug! Finish your drink.

Arrange the squash and apple around the plate, alternating.

Mound the cabbage in the middle.

Add any last drops of pork juice into the jus and pour over the jus forming a lake on the plate.

Slice the pork on a jaunty angle and lay over the cabbage.

Garnish with chives and freshly milled black pepper.

Present at the table, eat, enjoy, go about your evening.

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