Tag Archives: Pork

Recipe: Roast Stuffed and Rolled Pork Fillet

This recipe takes me right back to my childhood, my mum used to make a very similar dish and I had completely forgotten about it until I was reminded about it in college last (academic) year. It came up in one of our practical cookery classes and since then I have experimented with it several times until I came up with this recipe.

The recipe that I give for the stuffing, is a large enough quantity for three or four fillets, I like to make up the stuffing and freeze what I don’t use in “portions” so I’m not making it every time. I can just stuff, roll and roast as needed then. It’s also surprising just how quickly this can be put together even on a week night, just roast a few potatoes and some fresh veg in the oven with it and you have a really simple impressive dinner.


Roast Stuffed and rolled pork served with onion gravy, minted potatoes and steamed brocoli
Roast Stuffed and rolled pork served with onion gravy, minted potatoes and steamed brocoli

Ingredients;

Apricot and raisin stuffing

40g butter
1 large onion, diced
115g dried apricots, soaked, drained and diced
115g seedless raisins
115g fresh white breadcrumbs
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

and the rest

1 x pork fillet
Packet of Serrano ham


Begin by making the stuffing, heat the butter in a small pan and fry the onion over a moderate heat for about 3 minutes until translucent.

Place the apricots into a large bowl. Add the onions (butter and all), raisins, breadcrumbs and ginger. Season the mixture with salt and freshly ground black pepper. If you pick up a handful of the stuffing and squeeze it gently in your fist it should just about hold its shape when you let go. if it’s too dry just add a little more butter, if it’s a little too wet add some more breadcrumbs. Allow the stuffing to cool before use.

Next you want to take your pork fillet and trim off any excess fat carefully. Once this is done lay it out on a chopping board and make a cut about three-quarters way deep into it and the full length. This should allow you to open the fillet flat onto your chopping board. Using the heel of your hand you want to begin, flattening both sides of the fillet. If you strike at the centre with a movement towards either edge alternatively you should flatten and stretch the fillet out as much as possible.

Now comes the construction part, lay out your Serrano ham slices so that they just about overlap and are about an inch wider than the length of the fillet. Next lay the fillet on top (across all the Serrano ham overlaps) and place a line of your stuffing down the centre. Now comes the difficult bit, you need to fold either end of the Serrano ham over the ends of the fillet and roll the lot into one oversized Serrano ham wrapped sausage type of thing.

Place this in an oiled roasting tray and bake in a 180C oven for one hour, once the juices flow clear you’re ready to rest it for 10 minutes, then simply carve and serve.

Thinking about Meat

It’s a really strange thing I’ve noticed but most meat eaters don’t really think about the meat they eat terribly much, in fact from talking to vegetarians I know and have known over the years it is clear to me that they actually think more about the meat us meat eaters eat than most of us do.

For a lot of us the most we think about meat is will I have beef, lamb, chicken or pork for my lunch/dinner? Most of us make our way around the supermarket and pick up our nice pre-packaged cuts without ever wondering how long it is since this mooed/clucked/snorted etc. Really how many of us actually look closely at the cut before we put it in our trolley and take it home? How many of us even look at the label to see where it came from?

It’s a bit crazy especially when you come to realise that one of the key differences in the meals you eat at home and the meals you eat in a restaurant is the quality of the ingredients. Not all meat is created equal, just like some cuts taste better than others some animals just taste better. This is usually in my experience to do with the way they are reared and the way that they are butchered.

A well butchered cut of meat can make an impact as dramatic to a meal as the addition of seasoning and sometimes even more so. That’s why I’m constantly on the search for a better butcher. Every so often I try a new butcher and for a while I find good value or better cuts but then almost as soon as I get comfortable with a butcher, the quality or value or both just start to drop off, so I end up varying which butcher I use just to keep them on their toes.

The Market Butcher
The Market Butcher

When we visited Taste of Dublin, one of the many brochures that I picked up at the event was one for The Market Butcher it was only later I realised that their shop is just up the road from me, so I popped in one day and picked up some steaks for dinner, let’s just say that they were among the finest I have ever tasted.

Since then, I’ve been a regular customer and I’ve seen no difference in quality, every cut I’ve tried has been superb. It’s great for me because we are local but they do accept orders on-line and even offer free delivery for larger orders.

The range on offer is huge and the pricing is competitive with the supermarkets while giving much better quality and to top off, all their beef, chicken, lamb and pork is Irish. I haven’t tried the other more exotic options yet, so I haven’t asked about the origins but the staff have never been anything other than exceptionally helpful so I have no doubt they will be happy to answer any questions from customers.

Give them a try – I cannot recommend the fillet steak highly enough – I’m confident you won’t be disappointed.

Recipe: BBQ Pork Chops

BBQ pork chops served with coleslaw, blazin saddles baked beans and mashed spud
BBQ pork chops served with coleslaw, blazin saddles baked beans and mashed spud

Ingredients;

2 x Irish Pork chops
BBQ Rub
BBQ Sauce

Serves 2

Line

Start by giving the pork chops a quick rinse in running water and patting them dry with kitchen towel.

Next you want to sprinkle some of the BBQ rub onto a clean plate and lay the pork chops on top. Now turn them over and rub the “BBQ Rub” that has stuck into the meat well, then turn them over and do the same on the other side. Keep turning and rubbing the mixture into the chops until the mixture starts to feel like a paste and the fat of the chops has taken on a reddish tinge.

At this point wrap them with cling film and pop them in the fridge for at least twelve hours (I usually leave them overnight) to allow the flavours to combine with the meat.

The next day when you are ready to start cooking get your grill as hot as you can (be that your barbecue grill or kitchen grill) and place the pork chops on to cook for five to seven minutes per side.

When the second side has had its cooking time, turn the chops again and brush on a generous helping of BBQ Sauce and place them back on the grill for another five to seven minutes, then turn them one last time and brush the second side generously and back on the grill again for another five to seven minutes. At this point you’re ready to serve.

I like to serve these with some of my “Blazin Saddles” Baked Beans and mashed potato with some chives chopped through them. Coleslaw is always good with BBQ even if it is store bought 😉

These can be frozen once the rub has been applied and then defrosted ready for use, whenever you want. So I would normally buy about 10 pork chops mix up a batch of the rub and apply it. Then freeze them, in pairs, in sealed plastic bags. Doing this in advance means that you can pull a pair of them out of the freezer on your way to work to defrost during the day and have a quick and easy dinner to look forward to when you get home in the evening.

Recipe: Roast rack of pork with couscous

Roast rack of pork
Roast rack of pork

Ingredients;

Rack of Irish pork, approx 5lbs in weight (can be cut in 2 if you prefer)
2 onions
3 carrots
3 parsnips
3 sticks of celery
Dried rosemary
Salt & pepper
Olive oil
2 packets Roma boil in the bag couscous (or substitute 250g other couscous)

Serves 4

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Heat your oven to 180C.

Peel and cube all the veg into equal size pieces (about 1 inch). Place this in the bottom of a large roasting tin. Add 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil and toss well until fully coated.

Score the fat/skin on the pork in a criss-cross pattern. Rub the rack all over with olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper, ensuring the flavouring gets evenly distributed.

Place the pork on top of the vegetables and pop in the oven for 1.5 – 2 hours (until juices run clear). The meat should rest for at least 10 mins when you take it out of the oven.

While the meat is resting, boil water in a saucepan and add the 2 bags of couscous (using boil in the bag is the least messy method), cooking for 1 minute. Pour off the water and carefully snip open the bags, pouring the couscous out into a bowl. Add the roast vegetables and any juices from the pan to the couscous and stir well.

Carve the pork into portions and serve on a bed of roast vegetable couscous.