The rains are coming down noisily in our (yeah, we’ve claimed them now) not-so-long-ago tranquil Northern Rivers. There has still been a lot of heat getting about the place, but right now the heavens they are emptying their bladder that’s for sure.
These rains have made me think back to a dinner I cooked up late a few nights ago. That dinner is something that I think I would like to be eating tonight, but the thing is, I already ate it some nights ago and I don’t have the ingredients needed to cook it now. So in lieu of the things I may need to cook past dinner I have a pot of chicken ribollita on the stove as we speak… but that mere technicality is not going to stop me from telling you about my past dinner. The dinner that I want to have tonight. The dinner that haunts my memories and dreams. The dinner that was pork fillet with tomato, lentils and salsa verde.
But please don’t misunderstand me right now, I am a huge fan of ribolitta. It is definitely up there with my top three rainy day meals. Cool? Cool. I just really want that pork fillet again…
On with the story of the past tense dinner that I already ate.
I wont lie to you. When I cooked this meal I had consumed more than 1 alcoholic beverage. Details may be scant and very possibly untrue, but I shall soldier on in the name of freedom and a good story… foodisthebestshitever does that thing it does again.
As I ate that porky goodness I remember it being a lot more tender then I thought it would. It was pork fillet glory! I won’t pretend to remember every single drunken intuitive thing I put in it, but it was good… damn good. Tender, quick, magnificent and porky all in one little package. Aka my dinner. That’s all. I’m pretty sure it went a little something like this…
Pork fillet, lentils, tomato and salsa verde
1 pork fillet, 500g (ish). Cut that into 2-3 manageable pieces
1 brown onion, diced
1 small carrot, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 anchovy fillets
2 sprigs thyme
1 sprig rosemary
1 400g tin of French lentils
1 400g tin of crushed tomatoes or tomato passata
A splash of white wine
Salsa verde to serve (recipe can be found here)
• Season the pork fillet all over. Cook it in a pan with a splash of oil over a med-high heat. You want to get it nicely coloured but not fully cooked through. 2-3 minutes each side should be good
• Remove pork fillet and leave to rest
• To make the sauce put the pork pan back onto a medium heat. Add a little more oil to the pan and sauté onion, carrot, garlic and anchovies. Once starting to brown and stick a little, deglaze pan with a splash of wine. Add herbs and tomato and cook out on a low heat for 20 minutes, adding a splash or two of water if the sauce starts to get too thick.
• Add lentils and cook out for another five minutes
• Slice the pork fillet into 2cm medallions and add them to the sauce. Simmer for another five or so minutes, stirring regularly and ensuring pork medallions are being turned
• Once pork is done it’s time to serve (feel free to check the pork is done by slicing a couple of pieces open)
• Serve, maybe in an antique bowl, with salsa verde and some kind of bread product