This dish has a great visual impact but is very straight forward. There are numerous variations on the pesto, mash and purée to tailor make it to your preferences. Plus it can all be made in advance with just the pork left to cook at the last minute.
I actually brined the fillet for one hour beforehand. This just helps meat retain more juice during cooking. I placed 1 litre of water with 80g salt dissolved in it. If you leave it too long it will turn into a large piece of bacon.
I’ve classed this recipe under dairy free. As the cream and milk used was Lacto-Free. If you can’t have any dairy whatsoever you can replace milk with oil in the mash or omit it altogether. Also for the carrots they will turn into a lovely purée anyway, the cream just adds a bit more unctuousness.
- 350g Pork Fillet
- 4/5 Slices Parma Ham
- 5/6 Sage leaves
- Black Pepper.
Sage and Onion Pesto:
- Bunch of Sage
- Large Shallot
- Clove of Garlic
- Handful of hazelnuts or walnuts
- Olive Oil
- 3 Carrots
- 500g Rooster Potatoes
- 100ml Milk
- Clove of Garlic
- 1 Tsp Mustard
Any smoked nuts.
1) Firstly prepare the pork. Trim off any sinew and try to make the piece as uniform width as possible. Lay a large piece of cling film on the bench. Place your Parma ham side by side to make a big rectangle. Make a line of sage leaves, season with black pepper then place pork on top of sage leaves. Using the cling film wrap the ham around the pork. Twist the cling film until its tight at both ends. Leave in fridge for a couple of hours to set the shape.
2) Boil potatoes in their skins until soft. Take the flesh from the skins and pass through a ricer. In another pan warm the milk, garlic and mustard. Add this to the potatoes and season with salt and white pepper.
3) For the carrot purée, I’ve bought some vacuum pack bags. They are fairly cheap and come with a vacuum pump, cost about £10. I cut the carrots into chunks then placed them in a single layer in a bag. Then used the pump to suck the air out. They were then boiled in the bag. The reason for doing this is to prevent any flavour leaching into the cooking water. If you can’t get the bags just boil as normal. Once cooked, add to a food processor with some cream and purée. Taste and season accordingly.
4) To make the pesto, slice the shallot and soften with the garlic. After about 5 minutes add the sage, stir through then remove from the heat. Tip contents into a food processor with a handful of nuts and a good clug of olive oil. Pulse until you have rough purée, you may need to add a bit more oil. It should be quite a loose mixture. Taste and season.
5) Heat the oven to 180c, sear the pork on all sides for 30 seconds each. Place in the oven on a roasting tray. Check after 15mins, if you have a thermometer you need 60c. If not if should feel like a just ripe banana. Once ready let it rest for 10 minutes while you heat and plate all the other ingredients.