On a very cold and frosty New Year's Eve, we went to a 'bit of a do' at a local 2 AA Rosette Award Hotel, where they were having a buffet and disco. I know we are all affected by the credit crunch, but the food wasn't great. I'm now thinking I should have stayed at home and cooked this meal on New Year's Eve instead of New Year's Day!!!
Pork fillet can be quite a dry meat because it is so lean but this was the perfect way to cook the fillets, swathed in a bandage of streaky bacon and filled with a mushroom and Parmesan cheese stuffing.
This made a perfect roast, the pork can be prepared the day before, sit happily in the fridge and cooked the next day. The roast cooks in just an hour, carves neatly (when my husband does the carving!) and any leftovers can be served with a salad the next day, which is exactly how we ate it. I know it's too late now to be thinking about buffets etc. but this is definitely a winner for the salad plate.
The stuffing could be made chunkier by not cutting the mushrooms as small as I did, but I had a new kitchen toy a few months ago and got a bit carried away!!
To make the roast you simply flatten two pork fillets, fill with the mushroom stuffing and wrap in streaky bacon.
I'm not sure whether the pork looks dry in the photograph, but it wasn't - promise.
Nearly forgot to say, I served the pork with potato dauphinoise, carrot batons and roasted cauliflower. I didn't make the cranberry and Madeira gravy because unfortunately I forgot to buy the cranberry juice. I made a brandy and mushroom sauce instead, which went surprising well with the meal.
I bought 450g of pork fillet and cut it into two pieces width ways. This was enough for two people with leftovers.
To make my potato dauphinoise, which is a lower in fat version of this classic, simply make in the usual way but to 900g of potatoes I use 300ml of half-fat creme fraiche mixed with 200ml of semi-skimmed milk, 50g Gruyere cheese or a reduced-fat Cheddar cheese coarsely grated and 15g unsalted butter.
Mary Berry is a prolific author of cookery books and you can visit her website here.
MARY BERRY'S CHRISTMAS COLLECTION
ISBN 0755315626 - Page 93
You will need: 2 pork fillets of equal length, each about 450g in weight (trimmed of all fat), 10-12 long streaky bacon rashers, salt and ground black pepper.
For the stuffing: 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil, 1 finely chopped medium onion, 225g chopped chestnut mushrooms, 40g freshly grated Parmesan, 25g fresh white breadcrumbs, 3-4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves, 1 egg yolk.
1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/Fan 200°C/Gas 7.
2. Make the stuffing. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the chopped onion and fry for a few minutes over a low heat until tender. Add the chopped mushrooms to the onion, and cook over a high heat to drive off any liquid from the mushrooms. When the pan is completely dry, take off the heat and add all the remaining stuffing ingredients and season. Set to one side to cool.
3. Split the pork fillets length ways halfway through (but not entirely in half), open out and cover with clingfilm. Beat out to flat. Stretch the bacon rashers with the back of a knife, and arrange overlapping on a chopping board.
4. Put one of the fillets on to the bacon, season with black pepper and spread with the stuffing. Cover with the other fillet, beaten side facing down. Roll up tightly, folding each piece of bacon over the roll. Lift onto a roasting tin with the bacon join underneath.
5. Bake in a preheated oven for about an hour until the bacon is crisp and the pork is cooked.
6. Let the pork rest for a minimum of 10 minutes before carving.
For the Cranberry and Madeira Gravy:
You will need: 25g butter, 100g sliced chestnut mushrooms, 300ml cranberry juice, 75ml Madeira, 1 rounded tablespoon plain flour, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar.
Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the sliced mushrooms and cook for a few minutes. Gradually pour in the cranberry juice. In a small bowl blend the Madeira with the flour until smooth, then add to the sauce. Bring to the boil, stirring, then add the balsamic vinegar. Season.
This was a fabulous meal and I will be making it again. After eating this, we soon forgot about the previous evenings meal. After all, we had moved on to 2009. Happy New Year everyone!