French Pork Filet De L’ail (With Garlic)
How lovely to walk into a home that smells like France, the warm pungent aromas of succulent pork, gently simmered garlic and a touch of dry french Muscadet wine, circulating and promising dinner delights. Add to that a dish of Puree de Pommes de Terre and a glass of a fairly robust french red, such as a Medoc, Cotes de Beaune or Beaujolais and you have all the ingredients for an inexpensive authentic French midweek meal that is sure to impress. All you need now are the ingredients (see footer) and the right cut of meat!
Have you ever been, like us to France, or another country for that matter, and longed to recreate the innovative and original dishes you enjoyed there at home? You return home only to bemoan the fact that the same choice cuts of meat are not offered to us?
Ask your butcher or Meat Counter to find out where you can obtain Pork Tenderloin Fillet at a reasonable price. This is a cut of pork that we have seen in France, used in recipes there while on holiday, and recreated successfully here. You will spot it instantly as it looks so different! It is presented in a long roll shape ! – like a giant sausage roll and simply wrapped, without a box, in clear wrap. If this is not available, a leg or shoulder joint can be used, boned and rolled.
It is quick to cook, low fat and healthy, succulent and full of pork flavour. (We have even been known to throw one speedily into a roasting dish for an hour on a Sunday with a couple of cooking apples when caught out for a roast and in a hurry! Delicious !) Some cookery writers provide recipes for British-style Stuffed Tenderloin of Pork but here is the more zesty French one we used ! I wasn’t sure about the mash/potato puree idea at first, but am now a convert!
FILET DE PORC A L’AIL Cover 7 (yes seven ! – we are talking genuine France here!) cloves of garlic with 75ml cold water, cover and simmer til soft. Do the same with 1 sliced lemon. Strain, reserve and keep lemon slices. Tie meat securely and brown beautifully on all sides in a “cocotte” (saucepan to me and you! – if its a le Creuset style one, all the better!)
Remove the Filet, and work a little flour into the juices with a wooden spoon until golden brown. (Ahhhh……the therapy ! – enjoy all the scents while stirring, and dream of how everyone is going to enjoy the new tastes!) Add the reserved liquids and whisk until smooth. Season well and add 3 fl oz of of warm water (if its midweek and you’re needing to economise, or – for something more special – some Muscadet. We have been known to throw in any leftover white wine that happened to be in the refigerator!)
Replace the Filet, cover and leave to simmer over a very LOW heat for about 2 hours. (I suppose you could use a Slo-cooker, or pop it in the bottom of the oven, but we’ve never actually tried this method.) Check at the end of the cooking time whether you need to tilt the lid to allow what has now become a delicious sauce to reduce further.
Test, remove and carve into thick slices, keep warm and pour sauce over ,garnishing with the lemon slices. While your guests or family enjoy the scents, aromas and flavours of a French Auberge – you can dream or discuss a holiday in one!
7 cloves garlic
3 tbs olive oil
1.5 kg rindless pork fillet
2 tbs flour
Salt and Pepper