Friday, 5 October 2007

Quick family dinner: pork fillet with mustard, tarragon and cream

I'm not a huge fan of pork. I do, admittedly, have a severe bacon deficiency - I cannot do without a few rashers of streaky bacon cooked to a crispy brown crumble every now and then. I also appreciate a nice slice of good pink ham with a lick of sharp gritty mustard - but I can live without hunks of pork covered in crackling. Having said that, pork fillet is very tasty and lean, and it's inexpensive when compared to beef fillet.

My kids don't much like pork either, but I partially won them over by concocting this quick and simple - and not particularly healthy - dish. It's creamy, tangy, tender and tasty, and cooked in a jiffy. It went down so well that I think I might make it once a week.

The tarragon is essential to this dish. It's bloody difficult to grow in your garden, and is only occasionally available in supermarkets, so I suggest you use the excellent dried French Tarragon leaves from the Cape Herb and Spice Company. I found these in my local Spar, and at Pick 'n Pay. If you can't find any sort of tarragon, use a handful of fresh parsley.

Pork Fillet in a Creamy Mustard Tarragon Cream Sauce

1 -2 pork fillets (about 1 kg for four people)
30 ml (2 tablespoons) flour
salt and freshly millled black pepper
15 ml (1 tablespoon) olive oil
5 ml (1 tsp) butter
25o ml (1 cup) white wine
125 ml (1/2 cup) water
(1 T) dried tarragon leaves
30 ml (2 T) wholegrain mustard (or a teaspoon each of wholegrain mustard and Dijon mustard)
125 ml cream
juice of half a lemon

Pat the pork fillet quite dry with a paper towel and cut into 1-cm-thick slices. Put the flour onto a dinner plate and season well with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil and butter in a frying pan. While the fat is heating, dip each slice of pork in the seasoned flour, and then shake off any excess flour. Put the pork slices into the hot fat and fry, for about four to five minutes on each side, until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pork slices from the pan and put them on a plate. Cover the plate with a piece of tin foil, or an upturned plate.

Pour the white wine and the water into the frying pan and stir briskly, loosening any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Allow to bubble for 3-5 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Now turn down the heat and stir in the tarragon leaves, the mustard and the cream, and give the sauce a thorough whisk. When the sauce is slightly thickened and smooth, tip the pork pieces and their juices back into the pan. Squeeze over the lemon juice and season well with salt and pepper. Turn the heat down to virtually nothing and let the pan bubble for another 5 minutes, or until the pork fillet is cooked through and well coated with its mustardy sauce.

Serve hot with - hmm, let me think - boiled new potatoes, some tender-crisp microwaved broccoli, and a dab of sauce.

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1 comment:

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