Prosciutto & Sage Wrapped Pork Loin with Fig & Fennel Jus
You may have noticed from previous posts that I am a fan of Broccolini. That is true, but that is not what this recipe is about. It is about the tender, lean pork fillet, wrapped in aromatic sage leaves and salty prosciutto, drizzled with a wine rich, sweet, fig and fennel jus, resting on a bed of creamy, cauliflower puree and yes, of course, broccolini. It is my favourite green along with beans, brussel sprouts, kale, spinach, peas, snow peas, sugar snap peas, zucchini…..etc etc. This meal is perfect for a dinner party, easy, relatively cheap and pretty fancy looking. You should definitely give this one a go.
To achieve the best result with the pork fillet, tuck the thin tail end up before you wrap it in the sage and prosciutto so that the fillet is an even thickness all the way through. It will cook more evenly and the thin end won’t be dry and tough. I have also found that pork fillets have come down heaps in price as I think the big supermarkets are probably trying to compete with Aldi. You can usually get them for around $20-$25 a kilo. Otherwise, make a trip to Aldi as they are always reasonably priced there. Also, if you can’t get Maggie Beer Fig & Fennel Paste then the Quince, Spiced Pear etc would be equally as good.
Prep time: 20 Minutes Cooking time: 30 Minutes $$ Medium Budget
A little olive oil for frying
2 x 350-400gm pork fillets
1 bunch of sage, leaves stripped and stalks discarded
16 slices of prosciutto
1 cup of red wine
1/2 a cup of beef stock
1 tbs of Maggie Beer Fig & Fennel Paste
2 bunches of broccolini, ends trimmed and steamed
For the Cauliflower Puree:
1 medium cauliflower, cut into florets
1 cup of milk
1 bay leaf
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
A knob of butter
Sea salt and cracked pepper
Pre heat the oven to 180°C.
To prepare the pork, place a sheet of baking paper on the bench and gently lay 8 slices of prosciutto on it, with the end facing you and each piece overlapping. Pat the pork fillet dry with a piece of paper towel (and make sure you tuck the skinny end up), season with pepper and lay sage leaves across the fillet on both sides about 1cm apart. Place the pork about a third of the way down, across the prosciutto and then lift the ends of the prosciutto closest to you and fold it over the fillet. If you need to, you can just lift the edge of the baking paper and fold that over the fillet. Continue to roll the fillet and pat down gently so that you have a nice tight roll. Pop it in the fridge for 10 minutes or longer if you would like to prepare early.
Place one cup of red wine in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Drop the temp to a simmer and allow the wine to reduce by half before adding the stock and fig & fennel paste. Use a whisk to help dissolve the paste and when lump free, bring back to a simmer and allow to reduce for about 10 minutes or until reduced by about one third.
Place the cauliflower, milk, garlic and bayleaf in a large pot and season with salt and pepper. Pop a lid on and bring to a simmer. Keep the heat nice and low as you just want the cauliflower to steam gently for about 15-20 minutes until really tender. Once cooked, remove the bayleaf and drain the milk from the pot. Add a knob of butter and blend to a puree with a stick blender until nice and creamy. You can add a little of the milk if needed but you want a nice pasty consistency. Have a taste and season with a little more salt and pepper if needed. You can reheat this just before serving if you wish to make ahead.
Heat a large heavy based frypan and add a little oil. When nice and hot, sear the pork fillets on all sides until the prosciutto is nice and golden. Then place the pan in the oven, or transfer to a heated oven tray for 20-25 minutes. You want the pork to be a little springy to the touch so that it is just cooked through, I would think 25 minutes absolute maximum. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for a few minutes.
To serve, place a large dollop of cauliflower on each plate and use the back of your spoon to smooth it out and then top with steamed broccolini sprigs . Place the pork fillets on a board and use a sharp knife to slice the pork on the diagonal, about an inch thick. You should get 8 pieces or there abouts. Fan the pork pieces across the broccolini and drizzle over the jus.
If you have left over sage, you may like to cook this one!