This dish of fennel rubbed pork and truffled beans is going to be a little controversial. Not because of its content which was quite superb, but because of the conversation it invoked. I will eat anything. My wife on the other hand is half Egyptian and shuns pork products due to her Islamic upbringing. Although she does enjoy them. I also had my brother-in-law this evening and my inquisitive mind got the better of me.
The reason pork products aren’t eaten by Muslims is that they regard it a dirty animal that eats its own faeces. To be fair if this were true I think I’d join them. What is the truth and where does this belief come from? The facts about pigs is that they are the cleanest animals going. They will always have their calls of nature as far away from their styes as possible. They are a “dirty” animal in that they love to roll in the mud. They do this to keep cool as they can’t sweat through their own skin. Their biggest failure is that they will eat absolutely anything. When the pigs were in the middle east, living on barren lands and foraging for survival, they may well have had to eat their faeces to survive.
This I accept and believe is where the principles have come from. Admittedly, even if they did still eat faeces, I would just avoid sausages as the pigs stomach is used for the lining. There’s no good reason to not eat its leg or shoulder.*
Ok, so that was an interesting conversation that was had. I am not here to change peoples beliefs or opinions. I actually admire people who have food based beliefs on religion. I just like to ask questions and state facts. The dish was gorgeous. Fish or chicken can quite easily be substituted. The beans make a nice change to regular potatoes or pasta. [purerecipe]
*Edited due to an inaccuracy pointed out in the comments below.
- 750g Pork Tenderloin
- 2 Tbsp Fennel Seeds
- 2 Tbsp Black Pepper
- 1 Tbsp Oil
- 250g soaked overnight. Flageolet Beans
- 3 slices Bacon
- 1 Carrot
- 1 chopped Onion
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 250ml Cream
- A few drops Truffle Oil
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped. Parsley
- Buttered Cabbage
- Red Wine Jus
- Mix the black pepper, fennel seeds and oil together. Rub into the tenderloin and leave to marinate overnight or at least 2 hours.
- Cook the beans in plain boiling water for 20 minutes with the carrot, onion, garlic and bay leaf. Add the bacon after this time and cook for a further 20mins. Drain, but keep about 100ml of the cooking liquor.
- Fry the tenderloin on all sides for 1 minute at a time. Transfer to a 180°c oven for 12minutes. Rest for 5 then slice.
- To finish off the beans add them to the cream and simmer for 5 minutes. Season, add a few drops of truffle oil to your liking. If they become too thick add some of the reserved cooking juice.