Mushroom and Fennel Crusted Pork Fillet, Beetroot Gnocchi and Cabbage Gratin.

Mushroom and Fennel Crusted Pork Fillet, Beetroot Gnocchi and Cabbage Gratin.

Stuffed fillet and beetroot gnocchi


As the maximum temperature in Manchester yesterday was 8°c, I think it’s fair to say winter is on its way. Bearing that in might I have a wonderful, cheap winter warmer. I love pork but I find it the most difficult meat to get right, as it will dry out very quickly and doesn’t carry flavours as well as chicken. I love stuffed things, but stuffing pork with another meat based stuffing is a recipe for disaster. As cooking the stuffing will dry out the flesh of the pork.

The secret to the taste of this dish is making a fennel and mushroom powder. It is simply fennel seed and dried mushrooms blitzed to a powder. This is put on the outside of the pork before it is wrapped in serrano ham. I use what I call my Italian stuffing, I don’t know why I do as it has nothing to do with Italy except pine nuts and pancetta. Anyway, I dare suggest this stuffing is so nice you may even want to use it at Christmas this year. The trick is to cook the stuffing, put it into foil and shape into a sausage, the butterflied pork fillet can be wrapped around this to create a wonderful cylinder.

The beetroot gnocchi are a slight cheat. They don’t have any beetroot in them, rather beetroot powder. The powder is quite a potent thing a little goes a long way. These gnocchis are quite delicate as they’re made with ricotta rather than potato. Be gentle with them, I’ve gone mad with these and added a little truffle oil to them. It works really well but if you don’t have any don’t worry.

The cabbage gratin was born out my strange thinking. I didn’t want to serve up the standard pile of greens on the side and fancied a change from the norm. It is quite simply a bechamel flavoured with mustard, stirred into the cabbage and topped with breadcrumbs and parmesan. I wonder if I can do this with sprouts!

This does take a bit of preparation, but once done it can all be assembled at the final moments in half an hour.


    Stuffed Pork Fillet

  • 2 x 400g each, flattened Pork Fillet
  • 85g Serrano Ham
  • 2 Tbsp Fennel Seeds
  • 4 Tbsps Dried Mushrooms
  • 100g chopped Dried Apricots
  • 100g Lardons/Pancetta
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 2, sliced Shallot
  • 75g Pine Nuts
  • 2 Tbsps Parsley
  • 75g Breadcrumbs
  • 50g, grated Parmesan
  • 1 Egg
  • Beetroot Gnocchi

  • 250g Ricotta
  • 125g Plain Flour
  • 50g Parmesan
  • 2, beaten Eggs
  • 20g Beetroot Powder
  • 2 Tsp Truffle Oil
  • Cabbage Gratin

  • 25g Butter
  • 25g Flour
  • 300ml Milk
  • 1 Hpd Tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1, finely chopped Savoy Cabbage
  • 50g Breadcrumbs
  • 50g, grated Parmesan
  • Chicken Gravy

  • 1Kg Chicken Wings
  • 2 Sticks Celery
  • 3 Carrots
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Leek
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 100ml Brandy
  • 100ml White Wine
  • 1 Tsp Szechuan Peppercorns


  1. Make the stuffing, sweat the shallot and pancetta together for 5 mins. Add the garlic, pine nuts and apricots. Cook for another few minutes, now add all the remaining ingredients and stir together until thick. Take this out and place in foil, roll into a sausage and chill in fridge for a few hours.
  2. Roast the chicken wings for 45 minutes at 200°c. Add to a stock pot with all the vegetables. Bring up heat and add the brandy, let it all evaporate and repeat with the wine. Now fill the pot with water, cover with a lid and place over a medium heat for one hour. Do this in a pressure cooker if you can. Drain the stock, let it cool in the fridge and skim off any fat. Now reduce this in a large pan until it is thickened and syrupy. Check for seasoning.
  3. Blitz the fennel seed and mushrooms into a powder. Lay the serrano ham onto a chopping board on top of cling film, sprinkle the powder over. Place the butterflied fillet on top, remove the stuffing from the fridge and put in the centre. Roll up with the cling film and secure tightly at the ends. Rest in fridge until needed.
  4. For the gnocchi, mix all the ingredients together gently until just combined. Season with salt and black pepper. Take spoonfuls at a time, they will stick a bit, and add to simmering water to cook. They are cooked once they float. Drain, and set aside until needed for later.
  5. Make a roux with the butter and flour. Keep adding the milk until you have a thin sauce consistency. Add the mustard and then the cabbage. Cook for 5-6 minutes to cook the cabbage and let the sauce thicken. Place this mix in separate bowls and top with breadcrumbs and cheese.
  6. When ready to cook. Heat the oven to 180°c, remove pork from cling film and place on a baking tray. Add this and the cabbage gratins to the oven for 30 minutes. To finish the gnocchi, just pan fry for a few minutes to get some colour and crispiness on some of the sides.


  1. I really like how you’ve done that pork and the gnocchi with the powder is really clever. I’ve had gnocchi made with ricotta and you do have to be gentle but they’re so light and tender.

  2. Your plates are always so elegant – such a wonderful combo of flavors. Those gnocchi with beetroot powder and truffle oil have me so intrigued!

    • They’re so easy to make Shashi, just mix all the ingredients together and treat them like whipped egg whites. They’ll stay light and fluffy without turning into dumplings.

  3. This looks so neat and delish. It needs a lot of work but I bet the outcome worth it. Thanks for sharing

  4. It’s gotten chilly here too, David and this recipe looks like the perfect fall entertains dish. the beet root gnocchi sounds delightfully decadent.

  5. I like your cabage gratin, what a clever idea. I also like what you did with the pork, I can taste the different flavores, another creative post .

  6. Wow this looks absolutely amazing! What a beautiful presentation. Had fun looking through your website and at your amazing recipes!

  7. How can that amazing dish only have 5 steps?! It looks really wonderful and I love the use of the mushroom and beetroot. Fabulous. GG

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.