The other day, our neighbour in Perth, Regina, knocked on our door and gave me two pork fillets. How lovely. I put them in the freezer. As I did so, I thought, ‘I will have to think of something special to make with them’.
Then the other night, I was surprised to see Maus emerge from the study with her two favourite cookbooks, The French Kitchen and The French Market, both by Joanne Harris & Fran Warde.
Ages ago, I had noticed The French Kitchen on special for $10. ‘Nah’, I thought, ‘we don’t need a French cookbook’. But I love a bargain and Maus had shown an interest in French cooking so I bought the book. She loved it, she loved it so much that when The French Market was published, I paid top dollar to get it for her.
Anyway, there was Maus with her 2 favourite books. ‘We are having this,’ she said, ‘this’ being Pork with Lentils and Mustard Sauce. I looked at the recipe and noted it called for 2 pork fillets. Perfect for Regina’s pork fillets.
This is a nice dish to have when you want something a little special or if you are having guests. It is exceptionally easy to make.
For those who don’t know, Puy lentils are considered by many to be the best lentils because of their unique peppery flavour and the fact they hold their shape during cooking. They are the only lentil to be identified by area of cultivation – grown in the Le Puy region of France.
In Australia, McKenzies sell locally grown ‘Premium French Style Lentils’ which, if you can’t find Puy Lentils, will do just fine.
This recipe serves 6.
- 2 pork fillets (about 875g together, trimmed of fat)
- a bunch of sage
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut into slivers
- rind of 1 lemon, cut into pieces
- coarsely ground black pepper
- olive oil
- 8 slices of bacon, rind removed
- 1 litre of chicken stock
- 250g Puy lentils
- 100mls white wine
- 100mls double cream or crème fraiche
- 1 tbs (15mls) Dijon mustard
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Make slits in the pork and insert sage leaves, garlic slivers and pieces of lemon rind, then rub the pork with salt and pepper.
- Oil a baking dish with olive oil.
- Wrap bacon around the pork. Secure with toothpicks.
- Place the bacon-wrapped fillets in the baking dish.
- Bake for 35 minutes in 180°C oven.
- Whilst pork is cooking, put chicken stock and lentils in a saucepan and simmer gently for 30 minutes until the stock is absorbed and the lentils tender.
- In another saucepan, combine the white wine, cream, mustard and salt and pepper and heat gently (do not boil).
- Slice the pork and serve with the lentils and mustard sauce.
Check out the black in the photo. I used the black salt that Celia gave me. It is, essentially, salt flavoured carbon. The carbon stained the pork – it tasted just fine, though not the best look. I will know next time.