Pork tenderloin dinner with aromatic herbs, potatoes & asparagus
Emma Owen, one of Love British Food's supporters, has a hectic life as a mother, farmer and manager of Oakleigh Fairs. She has kindly found some time to tell us about supper time in their house and it seems nothing goes to waste...
Living as we do on the border of Suffolk and Essex in the Stour Valley AONB, we are surrounded by pretty countryside and lush grazing for the animals that support our work at Oakleigh Fairs; many of the animals that you see at our Country Shows and Food Festivals (but a little less likely at our high-end Craft Fairs of course) are actually bred and owned by us – from our Birds of Prey and Owls, through to the small animals you will find in our petting pens including guinea pigs and rabbits, to the goats and sheep, pigs and poultry you will find in our farm displays. And of course this means that we also have wonderful access to our very own, farm bred meat from time to time.
Now for the squeamish of you out there, we have a rule in the house, that if we name it, we don’t eat it and this holds true of a recent pig that came to us with two piglets who are now strong and weaned, but unfortunately we just don’t have space for a full grown Mama Sow, so it was off to ‘that place’ for her and then on to our friend Jamie Willows, the fabulous Artisan Butcher to be organised into family meal sized portions.
So what could be better, as a mid week family supper than a piece of your very own (unnamed) pork tenderloin, rubbed with a selection of home grown aromatic herbs and supplemented with some local asparagus and jersey potatoes – the perfect match between seasonal AND local, all on the same plate.
I can’t vouch for the calories or the fat content, but I can say that I know exactly where most of our meal came from and it really did taste good!
- 600g pork tenderloin
- lemon thyme
- flat leaf parsley
- salt & pepper
- plain sunflower oil
- garlic cloves
- slug of white wine
- jersey royals
- 75g unsalted butter
- lemon juice
- 50g sugar
- 75g self raising flour
- 1 egg
- double cream
- I used: 600g of pork tenderloin (which was ample with some left over for my partner and I as the children were at our local theatre drama club and had some when they returned) which I marinated in a generous handful of each of the following from my herb patch and pots: coriander, marjoram, lemon thyme and flat leaf parsley with a good grind of salt and pepper and some plain sunflower oil. I would also have added a couple of squashed garlic cloves as well, had I not forgotten that I’d finished the last bulb; you could of course use wild garlic leaves if you have them growing near you. Which makes me wonder why on earth we don’t see this fantastic and edible leaf found abundantly growing in hedgerows, in the shops? Would be terrific to see it more widely available...
- So once you are ready to cook the pork, simply brown it on all sides to seal in the flavour, deglaze the pan with some warm water from the kettle and a slug of white wine if you have a bottle open in the fridge (otherwise don’t worry), cover loosely with foil and pop it into a hot oven (200) for about 10 minutes, then turn down to 180 and boil the jersey royals in a pan of water until they are just tender.
- I always use my asparagus steamer to cook these delicious stems and for no more than 6 minutes. It seems a fancy gadget, but it’s really the only one that properly cooks the stem, stops then being woody, whilst leaving the succulent tips to dip in the butter I drizzle over the jerseys – using up the last of an unsalted farm produced pat I brought back from a recent trip to Cornwall. I also added a handful of rocket from the veg patch, which as fast as we are eating it, grows back, simply tossed in some lemon juice. The pork will be ready in about 40 minutes – which seems a long time, but it really brings out the flavours and you are also blessed with a rich juicy gravy surrounding it.
- Pudding was some apple, cored and chopped into fairly small pieces in an oven proof dish and then covered in a simple cake batter - 50 grams butter and sugar, and 75g of self raising flour, one egg – from my own chooks naturally and loosened with some milk; this latter was not sadly from one of our own goats which I find a little rich, but rather some semi-skimmed cow’s from a well known high street supermarket! Cooked for about 20 minutes at 180 and shared straight from the pot with a spoon each after the addition of some double cream.