Italian pork w/spinach
Member recipe

Italian pork w/spinach

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Servings

Serves 4

Roast loin of pork with white beans and fennel - a great dinner party dish.

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Ingredients

  • 5 chestnut mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 2 fennel bulbs
  • 4 tsp groundnut oil
  • half a carrot, peeled
  • half an onion, peeled
  • 1 clove garlic, halved
  • 75ml white wine vinegar
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • 50g butter
  • 4 pieces of pork tenderloin
  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 x 400g tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 100ml chicken stock
  • 50ml double cream
  • 1 tsp chopped chives
  • 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • To finish:
  • 300ml chicken stock, reduced by about half
  • 4 handfuls spinach, wilted

Method

    1. Make the fennel and mushroom powder: Slice the mushrooms very thinly and spread them on a sheet of parchment paper. Place in the microwave and cook on medium power for about 5 minutes until the mushrooms have shrunk slightly and are crisp but unbrowned. Leave to cool slightly. Meanwhile, place the fennel seeds in a dry pan and toast over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool. Using a pestle and mortar, grind the fennel seeds and dried mushrooms to a powder.
    2. Make the pickled braised fennel: Remove the tops and roots of the fennel bulbs. Halve and shred the bulbs finely. Heat the 4 tsp oil in a pan and add the fennel, half onion, carrot and garlic. Cook for 5-6 minutes without browning. Add the vinegar and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock and simmer until half the liquid has evaporated and the fennel is tender. Remove and discard the carrot and onion.
    3. Cook the white beans: In a frying pan, heat the olive oil and gently fry the onion and garlic until soft. Add the cannellini beans, thyme and bay leaf. Mix well then add the chicken stock. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the thyme and bay leaf. Add the cream, chives and mustard and heat through. Taste and add seasoning if necessary.
    4. Cook the pork: Heat the oven to 200C. Heat a large frying pan until very hot. Rub the 2 tbsp oil into the pork and then sprinkle over the fennel and mushroom powder. Rub well in and season with salt and pepper. Brown the pork in the frying pan before transferring to the oven. Cook for 20 minutes or so until the pork is just cooked. Leave to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
    5. To serve: Warm through the fennel and the beans. Place some spinach on a plate and top with the sliced pork. Serve the beans around the pork and place a spoonful of fennel next to the pork. Pour over some of the reduced chicken stock.

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