My favourite way to cook at home is when I take a bunch of ingredients and start improvising. One recent invention that I thought I had to share with you was this delicious dish of pork applied in three ways – a celebration of its versatility. As winter’s chill is starting to set in in South Africa, this is the perfect comfort dish for any weeknight or Saturday night feast. Try the leftovers the next day on a sandwich and you’ll probably be making this once a week!
STUFFED PORK FILLET WITH BACON CANNELLINI BEANS
TIME: 1½ hours | SERVES: 4
for the beans
200 ml olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 ml salt
4 large tomatoes
5 ml smoked paprika
1 x 400 g tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
200 g Eskort Rindless Streaky Bacon, chopped in very small blocks
5 g parsley, finely chopped
for the pork
200 g Eskort Lean Pork Mince
6 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
grated zest of 1 lemon
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 x 480 g Eskort Pork Fillet
70 g Serano ham
20 ml butter
for the beans
Pour the olive in a large saucepan. Add the onion, garlic and salt, cook over a low heat till onions are soft.
Cut a cross at the bottom of each tomato. Place in a mixing bowl and pour boiling water over the tomatoes. Leave for about 2 minutes, then carefully take them out and place in ice water to stop the cooking process. Peel the skin off and halve the tomatoes. Scoop out the pips and flesh, cut them into blocks, and add to the olive oil and onion mixture. Let it simmer on medium for about 15 minutes till a sauce forms.
Add the beans and season with more salt if needed. Simmer until beans are warm.
Heat a non-stick frying pan and add the bacon. Fry until crispy and add to the beans. Add chopped parsley and mix. Keep warm to one side.
for the pork
Heat the oven to 180 °C. Place the pork mince in a mixing bowl. Add the chopped sage and then the lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well and keep to one side.
Place the fillet on your work surface, remove the sinew and cut the top ends off.
Carefully slice the fillet in the centre but be careful not to slice it through.
Use a rolling pin to flatten the fillet carefully by bashing it lightly.
Place a large piece of foil on your work surface. Arrange the Serano ham on the foil so the slices overlap. Place the fillet on top, then season with salt and pepper. Spoon the mince on top in the centre of the fillet. Roll the fillet closed, making sure the foil is tight around the fillet.
Place the fillet on a baking tray, then pop it in the oven and roast for 35 – 40 minutes. Take out and open the fillet. Dot the butter on top and leave until melted.
Spoon the beans on a serving plate. Slice the fillet into serving portions and place on top of the beans. For the garnish you can fry extra fresh sage leaves.