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Pork fillets in spiced wine May 30, 2010

Posted by inspiredbywolfe in Pork, Wolfe recipe.
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My goodness gracious, another Nero Wolfe recipe! Where will the insanity end?! This one is from Might as well be dead, although it appears that pork fillets cooked in various liquids (wine, beer, brown sauce) are common at the brownstone. This recipe does take a little pre-thought as the pork needs to be marinated overnight, and there are additional steps after the marinating to do before this can be consumed.

To start with, I prepared the wine marinade. The recipe called for Burgundy wine to be used; however, as I had no Burgundy, I used an Australian Cabernet Sauvignon instead. I chopped up a carrot, an onion, ginger and garlic, and added them to the wine. I also added soy sauce and peppercorns, and simmered everything together.

After it had simmered for around 20 minutes, I turned the heat off and let it cool for a bit. The recipe didn’t state to let it cool before pouring over the pork, but I didn’t think it was good to pour boiling hot liquid over the pork! Meanwhile, I cut the pork up into strips, and put them into a bowl. When the marinade had cooled slightly, I poured it over the top of the pork (vegetables and all) and put the whole thing in the fridge overnight.

The next day, I took the pork out of the marinade and patted it dry on some paper towels. As you can see, the pork had changed colour – although depending on how it had been exposed to the marinade determined its colour.

I then took each piece and put it between two pieces of greaseproof paper, and banged it with my meat mallet until they were fairly thin – about 1cm. I wasn’t concerned with getting them super thin as they still had a lot of cooking time to go, but it’s always good to do violence to some meat!

Once they were all flattened, I added some butter to my casserole dish and browned the pork piece by piece.

After they were all browned, I arranged all the pieces in the casserole dish, and poured the marinade back over them until they were all covered. The casserole dish then went into the oven for about 1 1/2 hours. After it had cooked, I set the pot aside and began to make the sauce.

To make the sauce, I first made a roux with flour and butter. Then I added the juice / marinade from the cooked lamb until it turned into a sauce.

I also stirred in a spoonful of dijon mustard. As you can see it was quite thick and bubbled slowly as it simmered. When it had simmered for about 10 minutes, I decided it was done and that the lamb was ready to serve.

I placed a couple pieces of the lamb on each plate, added some of the vegetables used in the marinade, and put the sauce on top.

And the verdict: the lamb was very nice and tasty without being too rich or overwhelming. The flavours in the marinade had penetrated into the meat, and the sauce added a nice touch with the addition of the mustard. The only complaint I had was that it was quite salty – not so salty that we couldn’t eat it, but salty enough to notice it. I was wondering if this was because of my use of soy sauce – I added the quantity mentioned in the recipe, but maybe my soy sauce was more concentrated than the one used to make the recipes in the book?

As with the medieval stew I made, I’m amazed when I make this kind of recipe and it comes out with so much flavour. When I read the recipes, I know they’ll taste nice enough, but they come out so much better than that! In this case, the combination of the marinating and then the long cooking time meant the meat was very nicely flavoured without being dry or tough.

I can definitely see why these pork fillets are such a regular staple at the Wolfe residence. I am keen to try some of the other marinades and cooking liquids mentioned at the start of this post, such as beer and brown sauce. Also: it is a good excuse to do violence to some meat, an opportunity which is never to be missed!

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